How to Drive Safely Through Floodwater

Driving through floodwater can be incredibly dangerous and should be avoided whenever possible. However, it may be unavoidable in some situations. Knowing how to navigate floodwater safely prevents accidents and potential injuries.

Is it Safe to Drive Through Floodwater?

Driving through floodwater is never entirely safe and should be avoided whenever possible to prevent accidents, injuries, and worse. Floodwater can conceal hazards like debris, washed-out roads, and downed power lines, making it difficult to assess the water’s depth and condition. Even shallow-looking water can hide dangers that could damage your vehicle or cause it to become stranded. Floodwater can also cause your car to float or be swept away, putting you and your passengers at serious risk.

What Should I Do if I Encounter Floodwater on the Road?

If you encounter floodwater while driving, the safest course of action is to turn around and find an alternate route. Attempting to drive through them is too risky and should only be considered a last resort when turning around is impossible.

Before attempting to drive through floodwater, assess the depth and flow of the water. If the water moves swiftly or you cannot see the road beneath it, try to avoid driving through it.

If you absolutely must drive through floodwater, follow these safety tips to minimize the risk:

  • Proceed slowly and steadily: Drive through floodwaters at a slow, steady pace to reduce the chances of hydroplaning or losing control of your vehicle.
  • Avoid sudden movements: Abrupt maneuvers can cause your vehicle to lose traction or stall in the water. Steer gently and avoid sudden acceleration or braking.
  • Use the highest point of the road: Whenever possible, drive on the highest point of the road to avoid deeper water and potential hazards.
  • Watch for signs of danger: Look for signs of trouble, such as floating debris, submerged obstacles, or rapidly rising water levels. Be prepared to retreat if conditions worsen.

What Should I Do After Driving Through Floodwater?

Once you make it through floodwater, take the following steps for safety:

  • Inspect your vehicle: Before restarting it, check for any signs of damage, such as water in the engine or electrical systems.
  • Check road conditions: Before continuing your journey, assess the road conditions ahead and listen to traffic reports to ensure it is safe to proceed. Be aware that flooding can cause road closures or detours, so consider alternate routes.
  • Report: Report the road conditions to the authorities to save others from floodwater.
  • Dry out your vehicle: If your car has been submerged, dry out the interior as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew from forming.

You should also take your vehicle to a mechanic after driving through floodwater. Your car might have significant damage that you are not aware of.

A Maryland Car Accident Lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Can Fight to Get the Compensation You Deserve

Contact a knowledgeable Maryland car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for legal assistance related to a car accident. Submit our online form or call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) to schedule a free consultation.

We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.