5 Tips for Driving Through Flooded Areas

Flooding can occur within minutes or hours of a severe rainstorm.With heavy rain comes the possibility of floods - as many of us in Gauteng and North West may have already experienced this week.  Flooding can occur within minutes or hours of a severe rainstorm.

If your area is experiencing heavy rain, keep an eye on the news and on social media to check whether the roads you regularly use have been closed due to flooding.

If, however, you find yourself in an area that is flooded, these five tips may help you to be a safer driver:

  1. BE AWARE. If you live in low-lying areas or near flood-lines – take care when walking or driving! Be prepared to evacuate if the water levels rise too quickly. Avoid already flooded areas and high velocity flow areas.
  2. BE SAFE. Never ever try to swim, walk or drive through swift-flowing water, even if it’s only ankle deep. Nearly half of all flash flood deaths are auto-related, so never drive or let anyone drive through flood waters. You do not know how deep it is or if the road is washed away - water is powerful and unpredictable - rather use an alternative route.
  3. BE VIGILANT. Most accidents happen on wet roads in heavy downpours with poor visibility. If you’re caught in a downpour while driving: put on your headlights, keep a safe following distance, be extra alert and slow down!
  4. BE LATE. If you can avoid it, DO NOT drive in a heavy storm – rather delay your trip or find somewhere safe to park your car and wait, away from electrical lines, streams, rivers, trees and busy roads. Parking under cover or underground in a shopping mall parking lot are safer alternatives! Remember – never stop on the side of a highway during a storm because you’re at risk of causing an accident and being hit by not-so-vigilant drivers.
  5. BE KNOWLEDGEABLE. Have emergency services numbers saved onto your cell phone or memorised.

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