Driving in Flood Conditions

· Urban Floods: Built-up areas can experience up to 6 times greater run off than rural areas due to abundant concrete surface cover, therefore heavy rainfall can turn streets into swiftly moving rivers of rainfall runoff.
· Flash Floods: When precipitation in a particular area is channeled quickly to the exit point of the basin, a sudden increase in discharge can be caused. These floods usually occur within 6 hours of a large rainfall.
Useful tips for Drivers in flooded areas:-
If you live in an area where flooding may occur, move your vehicle to higher ground if flooding is expected. As well as the risk of damage to your vehicle by leaving it in a flooded area, it may also be a hazard or cause obstruction to emergency services.
  • Do not drive unless your journey is absolutely necessary.
  • If you must drive in a flooded area, use extreme caution. Do not attempt to drive through water if you are unsure of the depth.
  • Don't drive through fast-moving water, such as at a flooded bridge approach – your car could be swept away
  • Drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a bow wave, and allow on-coming traffic to pass first.
  • Keep the engine revving as much as possible while driving through high water to avoid letting water into the exhaust which could stall the engine.
  • If your car stalls, immediately abandon it and climb to higher ground. Watch your footing. Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can sweep a person off his or her feet.
  • Test your brakes as soon as you can after driving through water.

Return to the Safety Resource Center