How should you drive through flood water? Learn these 5 important driving tips to drive safely through the flooded areas.
Monsoon season is a bane for Indian roads. Poorly constructed and ill-maintained road infrastructure in India makes the situation worse. Coupled with the slippery conditions and poor visibility, driving a car during monsoons is a nightmare! Add to this mix, large potholes, and deep puddles, and you have hell on earth. Every person would dread taking their vehicles out in such a condition.
With the monsoon already arrived in India, many cities are bracing for the hit. Roads have been patched up. Underdrains have been checked and cleaned. But these tasks are easier said than done. Extensive water-logging and floods are imminent. So, you should make preparations on a personal level, in case you find yourself stuck in a monsoon flood situation.
If you are forced to drive in the rain and in floods, here are 5 essential tips to help you stay safe.
- Steer Clear of Massive Pools of Water
The foremost step to ensure safety for yourself and that of your car is to avoid driving through massively flooded areas. You need to gauge your car type and its compatibility. While the situation might be different for an SUV. A sedan simply cannot move through deep accumulated water.
So, the question remains, what to do in such times of duress? Well, you can check Google Maps, talk to people on the road, follow traffic updates on social media or radio. Pay attention to other road users (cars, bikes, trucks, and pedestrians) to assess the water depth before cutting through it. You should also be alert while driving, to stay away from flooded roads, and find alternate routes.
- Keep Revving
If you are stuck in a flood, despite taking the necessary measures, then what you can do is keep moving. You shouldn’t stop your car but also shouldn’t accelerate too high. This means that you should just stay on a steady momentum. If your car stops in accumulated water, water might creep into the vital car organs like the exhaust, intake or the engine and lead to stalling or seizing of the engine.
On the move, use a lower gear (first, second or third according to your speed) and keep the engine revving on the higher side. Gliding through deep water puts additional strain on the engine and using the third gear, instead of first, could lead to car stalling.
- Don’t Panic when Stuck
A vital tip to drive through the monsoon floods is to remain calm and not panic if your car is stuck in a huge cesspool of water. The level of pressure that the flood water exerts on the door and windows of the car is much higher than it looks. In deep-flood condition, the doors are jammed shut and the windows don’t work because of electrical failure. Then, you have to find another way out.
Use any blunt, heavy object (anything from a tyre rod to a headrest). Use the object to break one of the windows. Do not attempt to crash the windscreen as it’s a tougher nut to crack, compared to the windows.
In an ideal situation, always remember that when you notice that the water level is too high or/and on the rise, it’s better to ditch your car rather than attempt to drive through it.
- Don’t Restart the Engine if Stalled
If you happen to land your car in a heavily water-logged area, then pay caution to not restarting the car engine immediately. There are tons of reasons for avoiding that.
For starters, you do not want to put additional stress on the engine’s connecting rods, because this may lead to their breakage. This would lead to heavy repair costs and unless you have good insurance coverage, your finances could take a major hit.
Secondly, water might enter the exhaust, intake, or engine. This could lead to severe engine damage and even lead to engine failure. So, if you suspect that water has made its way through the engine, then immediately turn it off to avoid any further damage.
5. Pump the Car Breaks, When the Water is Clear
In a deep-flood situation, first, try to steer clear of a pool of water. Having done that, try to press the breaks hard. Pumping the breaks is very important, as it pushes out any water accumulated around the area.
The cars that work on drum breaks face this problem more frequently during monsoon floods. Since most of the cars in the India function on rear drums, this step is highly recommended.
Follow the above-mentioned steps and keep yourself and your vehicle monsoon-safe.