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Why You Should Not Drive through High Water

Tips for driving around flood and high water conditions.

safety 11-29-17 Share:

Road flooding doesn't just occur near the banks of rivers or streams, but can also be the result of run-off from deep snow cover, significant rainfall, or broken water pipes, which can all happen in the Northern Virginia region. When on the road during flood conditions, the number one rule to follow is, never attempt to drive through flooded areas.

Read on for reasons why you should never attempt to drive through a flood.

  • Flash floods can come on unexpectedly and without warning, or even occur within a few minutes of excess rainfall or as soon as a water line breaks or other emergency situation occurs.
  • Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, it may not be. Water hides dips in the road or water can even take away an entire road surface and the ground underneath the road.
  • Six inches of water can reach the bottom of most passenger cars, leading to loss of control or stalling.
  • One foot of water will float most vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles, including large SUVs.
  • About 80 percent of flood-related deaths occur inside a vehicle.

If you find yourself near flooded waters, turn around and find another route. If there is no other route, get to higher ground and wait for the waters to subside. If your car stalls while in the water, leave it and move to higher ground. Cars that have been in flooded waters — even for a very short time — will need to be checked out immediately. Water that finds its way into a car's mechanism can cause engine damage and exhaust problems. If water has entered a car's interior, do not switch on the ignition, as water in the electrical system can lead to airbags deploying without warning.

If your car has been in a flood or has experienced water damage, bring your car to Wiygul Automotive Clinic. As an AAA-approved center for auto repair and maintenance, Wiygul Automotive Clinic specializes in complete foreign and domestic repair service and has been servicing the Burke, Virginia and Northern Virginia area since 1996.

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