Flash floods are unpredictable, fast and deadly - but there are ways to stay safe if you find you and your car in the way.
The long-awaited rains sweeping across South Africa have led to dangerous flash floods over sun-baked ground and blocked drainage systems. Here’s what to do if your car is trapped in a flash flood - most importantly, remember not to panic!
First of all, it’s best to avoid the water on the road all together, if you can. It can be deceptively deep, or move much quicker than it looks from the surface. Your car is also more vulnerable than you think. Says Tshwane Emergency Services, “Be very aware of your car's limitations. If you drive through water that is 15 cm deep or more, your car could lose control and stall. Furthermore, 30 cm of water is enough to float most cars, and 60 cm of rushing water can indeed carry away cars, SUVs and pick-ups.”
Avoid driving over bodies of water on the road at all - back up or take a different route if you see a flooded road or bridge ahead.
Picture from EWN
If, however, you find yourself surrounded by water, ENCA gives these tips:
Don’t panic if your car is surrounded or covered by water.
If windows won't open, let car fill with water.Then open doors, get out & swim to the surface. Don't stay until it sinks. #flashfloodtips— City of Tshwane (@CityTshwane) November 10, 2016
Is your car worth salvaging?
If you’ve made it through a flash flood and have a dirty car to deal with, Popular Mechanics share this advice on checking the status of your car.
For more tips on driving in the rain follow our 14 easy to follow tips on driving safely in the rain.