Aug 15, 2013 1:37 PM by Elaine Sheridan

Tips for drivers who encounter flooding on the roadway

The Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) has issued some tips for drivers who may hit water on the road.

If a person is driving through a flash flood area, the FEMA suggests you stay in your vehicle and don't ignore barricades or other closure devices by driving around them. The following precautions also are suggested:

Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).

If you must drive through water, drive slowly and steadily through the water.

Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in - electric current passes through water easily.

Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don't try it. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can scour away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.

Watch for items traveling downstream - they can trap or crush you if you're in their path.

If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

Stay off your cell phone unless you must report severe injuries.

If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine. If you can't restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon the vehicle, if it is safe, for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.



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