Atmosphere And Weather

Why you shouldn’t Drive through Flooded Roads



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Heavy rainfall can cause serious injury or even death, especially if you attempt to drive through flooded areas.  Water can be a very powerful force of nature, and it has the potential to sweep cars away or turn them upside down while trapping the driver and passengers inside.  The problem is that when roads become flooded, you cannot tell how much water is sitting on the road, and the water often hides any dangers that might be lurking beneath it. 

The amount of water sitting on the road is related to how dangerous it is to drive through.  With only inches of water, the bottom of a passenger car will begin to flood.  This could lead to a loss of control over the car or a stalled engine.  In one foot of water, most vehicles will float.  In two feet of water, most vehicles, even trucks and SUVs will be swept away.  Once swept away, it is very likely that your vehicle will roll onto its side or flip over completely, often trapping people inside the car.

Flooded roads also hide dangers beneath the water.  It might hide large pieces of debris, like large sticks or logs.  This type of debris can damage your car, and is often not seen when hidden under water.  Floodwaters can also hide dips in the road, which makes the water depth appear to be much less than it actually is.  They could also hide erosion from the flooding.  Parts of the road might be weakened from the rushing waters, which might cause the road the collapse under the weight of a car.  In some cases, rushing waters can sweep away parts of the road, and while the road is still flooded, missing chunks are not always visible to drivers. 

It is best to take an alternative route around the flooded road, even if that means it will take you longer to get to your destination.  If there is not an alternative route, wait until the floodwaters recede in order to drive through.  If it is still raining, reverse your route and drive the way you came until you get to higher ground. 

Many people think that it is much safer to drive in the summer months without the snow and ice.  In summer, however, flash floods can quickly occur with summer storms, making roads, especially low-lying ones or ones near rivers and streams, dangerous to drivers.  In many cases the water is deeper than it appears, and there is always the possibility that hidden dangers lurk beneath the water.  So play it safe, and take another route to your destination.   


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