According to the National Centre of Meteorology (NMC) more rain has been predicted to fall this week in the UAE and we all know what that tends to lead to – that’s right, roads that suddenly transform themselves into rivers. Motorists are being advised to take extra precaution during this period of unstable weather where badly flooded roads can make driving almost impossible.
Standing water on the roads is dangerous and not only can it lead to accidents due to the increase in stopping distances it can also cause considerable damage to vehicles. Deep water poses a threat to road traffic so what should you do if the heavens suddenly open and the black top turns into a swimming pool?
1 - Find another route
Ideally, it’s advisable to turn around and find another route or you run the risk of being left stranded on the roof of your vehicle until help arrives. Sure, new cars today are pretty capable in extreme weather however, they remain rather susceptible to water, particularly their electrical systems and engine. If water was to get into either of those then you would likely have a major repair bill on your hands. It is best to find a solution that does not involve driving through flood water as the risk posed to both you and your car would be minimalized.
2 - Make sure it isn't too deep
As a general rule, you should not drive through more than six inches of water. How can you tell the depth? Easy. You don’t need to get out and measure that pool in front you – just use your common sense; park up on the side and observe foolhardy owners taking a risk and attempting to drive through. If the water rises above the wheels then don’t risk running your car through it.
3 - Proceed with caution
If the water is shallow, then proceed with caution; try to stay on the crown of the road where possible and crawl through very slowly. Attempting to drive through quickly is very dangerous as this can push water into the engine and seriously damage your car. It can also lead to aquaplaning where the front tyres will fail to steer the car and causing you to lose control of it. And spare a thought for pedestrians – they’ve likely had their morning shower and won’t appreciate another one caused by you and your car…
4 - Enter the flooded area slowly
The ideal way is to enter the water slowly, around 3kph and then accelerate a little to around 6kph because this will create a bow wave in front of the vehicle and could keep some water from entering the engine bay.
5 - Check your car afterwards
After emerging from the water if it advisable to dry your vehicles breaks by using them gently and if the water was sandy and muddy then you might want to pop your bonnet and check your radiator for any blockages – if there are any your engine could overheat.
6 - Watch out for crazy drivers!
You might be driving carefully and considerately but there could be lunatics flying through the other way so watch out for them and if possible move aside to let them pass. They could easily lose control of their car and crash into yours. What’s more, they could create large waves that could drown your poor car…