Navigating a flash flood while driving during a summer storm

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Personal Injury |

In California, occasional, sudden downpours are not uncommon. With the rain, you may also encounter a flash flood. Flash floods can occur without warning, quickly turning a pleasant drive into a dangerous situation.

You need to know what to do if you driving when a flash flood occurs. Staying calm and taking the right actions can be the difference between safety and peril.

React quickly and assess the situation

Flash floods can develop in seconds. If you notice rising water levels while driving, do not try to cross them. Just six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or stall, and two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.

Find higher ground

If possible, you should turn around and find higher ground. This can help you avoid the rapidly rising water. If there is no other route, park your car and move to higher ground on foot. If possible, do not leave your car in a flooded area, as it could pose a risk to rescue vehicles and people.

Stay informed

Listen to a weather radio or check your mobile device for flash flood warnings and updates if you have service. Knowing the status of the storm can help you make informed decisions about the safest course of action.

Signal for help

If your vehicle gets stuck in rising water and you cannot exit safely, call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, turn on your hazard lights and stay inside your vehicle if it is safe to do so.

Do not try to swim through flood waters

If your car is rapidly filling with water and you need to exit, do not attempt to swim through floodwaters. Moving water can be deceptively powerful. Instead, look for a secure, visible place where you can signal for help.

Experiencing a flash flood while driving can be terrifying. However, by staying calm and knowing the right steps to take, you can keep yourself safe. Remember, your car is replaceable, but your life is not.