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March 11, 2017

Driving Tips During a Flood

Best advice is to turn around!

Northern and Southern California are seeing the most rain they have seen in years. With a slew of new drivers hitting the road every year, it is a good time to review safe driving tips to know what do on a flooded street. Research has shown that over half of flood related deaths happen when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood waters. It only takes about a foot of water to lift a car and sweep it away during a flood. Simple planning and preparedness can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Ultimately the safest thing to do during a flood is not be on the road to begin with. Within your own neighborhood, you should be familiar with areas that normally flood during a strong rain storm. Keep this in mind or check your city's website for flood or evacuation maps. It helps to know this information if you must leave your home.

If you must drive during a flood, never attempt to drive through standing water. If barricades are setup, they are there for your protection, do not ignore them. Avoid driving in the dark during a food. It is impossible to know what is safe and what is deep water. Avoid driving fast through flood water if you must pass. Always better to drive slow and steady.

Once you are through the flood water, immediately test your brakes. If they do not seem to work, gently tap your brakes as you are maintaining your speed. This will help dry your breaks and heat them up again to start working normally.

If the water was deep enough and water comes up over your hood, chances are your vehicle will stall and shut down. If this happens, leave your car immediately and head for higher ground. Never stay inside your vehicle if it has stalled in a flood. There is a high risk of it being washed away which is the cause of many deaths relating to floods.

Never try to restart your Buick that is stalled in high water. You may cause serious engine damage.

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) California Tire Dealers Association Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)