During the rainy season in the Southwest, flash floods are a common occurrence. Every year, drivers are rescued from flooded vehicles because motorists have not been properly informed as to how to drive defensively during heavy rain and flooding conditions. Use these tips to help you navigate rainy streets safely so you can keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Causes of Floods
Floods can be caused by all manners of inclement weather conditions, including rain, melting snow and ice. In the Southwest, rain is the major weather condition that directly affects us. When a large amount of rain falls in a short period of time, drainage infrastructure is not always equipped to handle it. In addition, rivers and streams may overflow and contribute to flooding. Especially dangerous are flash floods, in which a large amount of water rushes into a low-lying area, causing a fast-moving flood.
Tips for Driving in Floods
To help ensure your safety, take the following precautions whenever possible:
- Find another route. If you see standing water, turn around and look for an alternate way around.
- Don’t ignore barricades. Even if you don’t see flood water on the ground, barricades have been placed for your safety, do not go around them.
- Avoid driving in flood waters as debris may be present. Debris can crash into your vehicle and cause damage or cause the tires to lose traction.
What to Do If Your Vehicle Stalls in the Water
If you are forced to drive through standing water, move slowly. If your car stalls in the water, keep calm. Try to start the engine again. If this doesn’t work, check to see if it is safe to exit the vehicle. If possible, get everyone out of the vehicle and head for higher ground, then call for help. If you can’t exit the vehicle safely, call for assistance on a cellphone or flag down another motorist and have them call the authorities.
If your vehicle becomes damaged by flooding or other weather conditions such as hail, our technicians are ready to help.