Vehicles driving through flooded road

What Do I Do When Driving in a Flood?

How to Protect Your Vehicle from Flood Damage 

Flooding happens quickly and rapidly, and we are not always able to get off the road in time before being faced with rising water. Our vehicles are not meant to travel through high levels of standing water, and while some can tolerate a few inches of water, it is always best to avoid standing water whenever possible. 

But what do you do when you’re driving and flood conditions come your way? Or what about if your car is parked outside and there is a flood warning? This guide from Friendly Kia is here to give you advice on how to protect your vehicle from flood damage, whether you’re driving through it or your vehicle is parked in it.  

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Tips for Driving Through Water or Flooding 

It is crucial to understand that driving through water should always be avoided, even if that means adding on time to your route. Standing water can hide obstacles below the surface and water that looks shallow enough may have deep drop-off points. However, if driving through water-logged roads in unavoidable, remember these tips: 

Drive Slowly

Silver vehicle driving through water

When faced with flooding conditions your first instinct may be to get home as quickly as possible. However, the last thing your vehicle needs is to be driven fast over water-covered roads. When faced with standing water on a road, drive under 5 mph and cross as slowly as possible to avoid flooding the engine.  

Stay in the Center 

Water is often the shallowest at the center of the road. If you are faced with flood conditions on a road, take turns with the other vehicles and drive straight down the center of the road until you are out of the flooded section.  

Take Turns with Other Vehicles 

As we said above, it is best to take turns with oncoming traffic when you must pass over a water-logged road. Even if you are able to stay within your lane of traffic, taking turns with oncoming traffic is important so that neither vehicle creates too big of a wave on the road, which could cause damage to either vehicle’s engine.  

Dry Your Brakes 

After you’ve made it past the flooded area you will need to dry your brakes to keep yourself from spinning out the next time you need to come to a full stop. Dry your brakes by driving slowly and braking lightly a few times to remove excess water.  

Flood Safety Tips 

Flash floods can happen in an instant and water’s force is powerful enough to easily overtake vehicles. In addition to the tips above, it is important to remember the following flood safety tips: 

  • Do not ignore barricades. 
  • Avoid any standing water that covers more than your vehicle’s wheels.
  • Avoid any water that has downed power lines in it or nearby. 
  • Keep an eye out for items traveling downstream in the standing water. 
  • If your vehicle stalls in standing water and you are unable to restart it, abandon your vehicle for higher ground. If you are unable to get out of your vehicle through the door or window, immediately call 911.  

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Our team at Friendly Kia is committed to bringing all things automotive right to your screens on our weekly blog. From automotive how-tos to safety tips and tricks, you can find it here on the Friendly Kia blog. 

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