In light of the devastating flooding taking place in New England, now is a good time to revisit driving tips for flash flood conditions. Less than one inch of water can cause a driver to lose control of a car. And most vehicles can float in two feet of water or less.
Here's some timely advice, taken from the Nevada Driver's Handbook, which you may want to pass along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
- If you encounter a flooded roadway, don't attempt to drive through it. Turn around and seek an alternate route or wait until the water subsides. Although it may look like just a few inches of water on the roadway, you have no idea if the road has washed away underneath providing a hazardous situation for drivers. It is also difficult to determine the depth of floodwaters.
- If your vehicle stalls in rising flood water, and you can safely do so, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away. Once vehicles begin to float they move toward deep, faster-moving water where escape is even more dangerous and top-heavy vehicles may roll over. Deaths often occur because people mistakenly believe that vehicles provide protection from rising, swiftly moving waters. However, if you find yourself in this situation you must make a judgment call about whether you can make it to higher ground or if you would be better off remaining with your vehicle. The only sure safety rule is to turn around and avoid flooded roadways in the first place.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Avoid already flooded areas and areas subject to sudden flooding. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams or water flowing over the roadway.
- If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find another route.
- Move to higher ground away from streams, creeks and flood control channels.
- If your route is blocked by floodwaters or barricades, find another route. Barricades are put up by local officials to protect people from unsafe roads. Never drive around barricades. Driving around them can be a serious risk.