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Driving in the Florida Heavy Rain: Watch out for Flash Floods

Driving circumstances and potential damage to your vehicle

While we don’t have to deal with snowy driving conditions in winter, South Florida drivers do have to confront rainy conditions year round. And when that rain becomes torrential and results in flooding, it means dangerous driving circumstances and potential damage to your vehicle.

The best course of action is to avoid driving during heavy rain and flash floods. However, sometimes it is unavoidable. If you find yourself in a heavy rain situation follow these simple rules below.

Avoid driving through standing water on roads or in parking lots. As little as 12 inches of moving water can cause a car to lose traction and be swept off the road while as little as 6 inches can result in an engine stalling. Also be aware that restarting an engine that has stalled when driving through water can cause irreparable damage. Even larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs can be in danger of floating away in 24 inches of water. A good rule of thumb is not to drive through water that’s too deep to see the markings on the road.

If you have no other alternative but to drive through water:

  • Put your phone down
  • Watch the cars ahead of you to gauge the depth and see what happens when they drive through it
  • Slow down when entering the standing water to avoid aquaplaning
  • Keep it slow and steady
  • Be aware of what is in the water – Don’t drive in water that power lines have fallen in and watch for items traveling downstream that may trap or crush you
  • If your car stalls, attempt to restart it, if necessary, to make it to safety
  • If you cannot restart your car and the water is rising, leave your car behind and get to higher ground

Note: If you have driven in water that is up to your wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a patch of road once you get to the other side. If they are not performing as they should, dry them by pressing lightly on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

Flooded streets are a serious threat to the safety of drivers. Make sure you are prepared if the situation ever happens to you.

Griffin Auto Care, Inc. is a full-service automotive repair and body shop. From routine maintenance to complete collision repair to custom fabrication & accessories, we service all brands and will treat your car with the utmost care and professionalism. To make an appointment for your car, please contact Griffin Auto Care or call 561-659-0765.

Sources: Progressive, The Weather Network

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