Dangers of driving through floodwaters

Driving through floodwaters can be extremely dangerous and sometimes life-threatening.

Each year more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard, according to the National Weather Service.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwaters. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.

Did you know?

  • Six inches of standing water is enough to stall most vehicles. Six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock over and carry away an adult.
  • One foot of water can float a vehicle and if it's rushing, it can carry it away.
  • Two feet of water not only can float most vehicles including SUVs, vans and trucks, but can also be swept away in the current.

Staying Safe

If for some reason you find yourself trapped in your vehicle while stuck in floodwaters, here are a few options:

  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground.
  • Do not leave the car if the water is moving around you.
  • Turn your headlights and hazard lights on so emergency personnel can see you.
  • Unbuckle your seat belt and unlock the doors.
  • Roll your window down slowly
  • If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
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