Driving on flooded roads

Driving on flooded roads

One of our employees shared a story of how they would drive through large puddles to make a splash but after a few weeks the brakes became less effective and the rotors started making loud noises (the kind you never want to hear in a car…). After checking it out, the entire wheel assembly was rusted and needed some expensive repairs.

Water is very dangerous to vehicles, and in more ways than one. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it only takes 6 inches of water to cause your car to stall. A foot of water is enough to float a 1,500-pound vehicle!

The dangers of driving on flooded roads

According to FEMA, just a little bit of water can cause big problems.

  • Six inches of water is enough to float a car, causing it to lose control or stall.
  • Two feet of water can carry most vehicles including SUVs and pickups.
  • Underpasses can fill up very quickly, putting you in 5–6 feet of water.
  • The vehicle’s computers, located under the seats, control everything from the engine to the steering and braking. If flood water gets to the computer, it can cause critical damage, leaving the car stranded.
  • Driving in flood waters may cause your vehicle’s engine to take in water through the air return and severely damage the engine.
  • When driving at night, it can be hard to tell how flooded roads really are so be extra cautious.

Staying safe

Here are some guidelines on staying safe when roads could be flooded.

  • Don’t walk or drive into a flooded areas. Instead find an alternate route. It’s hard to tell how deep water is merely by looking at it.
  • Flooding can also compromise the integrity of a road, causing more than just water damage. Recently flooded roads may have structural issues and may cause severe damage to your vehicle.If a flood warning is issued, stay away from areas that are known to flood. FEMA provides flood maps so you can keep track of flood risks for your specific area.
  • Sign up for the Emergency Alert System (EAS).It’s also handy to have an National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to get real-time emergency alerts.

For more information

Make sure your car insurance is up to date. Talk to one of our affiliated agents.

Learn about our coverages Find an agent