Behind the Wheel

Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

February 25, 2017
  While water is your vehicle’s friend when it comes to the car wash, it can easily become your enemy in many other situations. Stay safe on the roads by knowing how to drive safely in hazardous weather! You’ve all heard the message “turn around, don’t drown.” And it’s true–listen to it! More deaths occur each year due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. When a vehicle is driven into flood water, it rarely makes it out. Don’t underestimate the power and force of water! While some of you might think your car is indestructible, it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry a small car away, and two feet of rushing water can wash away most vehicles!   Not only can flood water potentially sweep your car off the road, it has many other damaging effects. Attempting to drive through water may also stall your engine and can cause irreversible damage to it. If you come upon a road that appears to be flooded, taking an alternate route is the safest solution. If an alternate route is not an option, take extra precautions:
  • Estimate the depth of the water. Use cars ahead of you as a guide, or try to gauge how deep it is with landmarks around you.
  • Drive slow and steady. This is not a race. Take your time.
  • Turn your lights on. You may even have to use your brights, but be mindful and considerate of other vehicles around you.
  • Give surrounding vehicles extra space. The more the merrier! Be sure to add at least 1-2 extra seconds of following time in hazardous weather. This allows you and those around you to have more time to react.
  • Avoid driving through water around downed power lines.
  • If your brakes seem to be wet and not stopping your vehicle like they should, you can try drying them. Press gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

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