FLOODS can occur anywhere, with waters rising gradually or rapidly.
Flash floods are among the top weather-related killers globally and most fatalities happen because people try to drive through them rather than avoid them.
There are a lot of car drivers out there who think it will be fine for them to drive their car through a flood as long as their car tyres are in good shape.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even though it is true that today’s modern cars are more capable of getting through severe floods, danger still exists. As a matter of fact, even large 4X4 vehicle drivers should be careful when driving through a flood.
Car owners are strongly advised not to drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots.
The average automobile can be swept off the road in 30cm of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse.
Attempting to drive through water also may stall the engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if it’s restarted.
If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.
If no alternate route exists and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water, read through this article to find out how to drive safely in the flood:
1. Assess how deep the flood water is. If there are vehicles already crossing, watch them and see how they struggle. If the flood level reaches a level higher than the bottom edge of the car door, the flood water may get into the car engine compartment. As a result, the engine may stall.
2. Drive slowly and steadily through a flood. Try using the first gear in order to keep the car at a low speed level. Otherwise, they may create a bow wave, which often causes severe damage to cars and they are expensive to deal with.
3. If aquaplaning takes place due to driving fast in the flood, take a light hold of the steering wheel and to lift the throttle off until the tyres manage to regain grip.
4. Driving considerably fast through standing water may cause complete stalling, even if there is a small amount of water that gets into the engine. Those who drive a turbocharged petrol car or a car with a diesel engine should even be more careful since they are often the most vulnerable targets to stalling.
5. Keep on revving to get the car engine running strong. You can do this by slipping the car clutch. This way, water may be prevented from entering the car exhaust to avoid stalling.
6. Consider driving the car in the middle of the road or often known as the crown of the road. A flood is usually at its shallowest level in the middle of the road.
7. Avoid driving in water with downed electrical or power lines - electric current passes through water easily.
8. Watch for items travelling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you’re in their path.
9. Test your brakes after passing through water. If they feel spongy or slack, pull over. Your car may not be safe to continue until weather conditions improve.
10. If you can’t restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 999 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.
The modern car is one of the most sophisticated machines ever created. Dozens of control systems and computer processors work together to ensure it works seamlessly and effectively day in and day out.
But machines do break down occasionally. The technical team of The Otomotif College (TOC) is here to offer advice and help troubleshoot car problems
The team of seven trainers, led by Allan Cabiles (pic), has collectively 30 years of experience in a wide range of car makes. The TOC Team prides itself on keeping pace with the ever-evolving automotive industry. Its trainers undergo training sessions with a network of 800 industry partners across the country.
With such an extensive body of knowledge, think of the TOC Team as your go-to automotive experts.
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