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Driving in flood waters

With the recent events in NSW and QLD, Australia – it is timely to remind drivers about the many risks associated with driving in flood waters.

During extreme weather events, roads can be cut off, destroyed, flooded or covered in debris.

Driving can be your only way to escape but if you leave it to late – you may get stuck or worse.

Time is your best resource. When you are advised of potential flooding you should have your vehicle packed and ready to go.

Leaving sooner will always be preferable as conditions can change very quickly – often in only minutes.

Never drive in water that is deeper then your vehicle can safely manage.

For most vehicles water up to the middle of the wheel is safe (around 200-300mm).

4WD vehicles typically have a safe operating range of 800-900mm.

4WD’s with snorkels and the right equipment can go even deeper however this is usually not safe without knowing what’s under the surface.

When you do cross you also need to factor current and speed of the water moving. Both of these can cause your vehicle to float away.

Safety first and have a contingency plan.

If the vehicle starts to float – open the down stream door and flood the cabin. This will allow the vehicle to settle back onto the road. You may be able to keep driving but if not you will at least not float away.

Keep the windows down a little bit also to assist if you need to escape and the vehicle is partly submerged.

There is a lot to go wrong when crossing deep water and so you should do what you can to prevent being in these situations.

People die when they get this wrong – so be careful and if you can find a safer option – take it!