Tips on driving in flooded areas

During flash floods, water levels may rise rapidly within minutes, leaving motorists stranded. Here are some tips on navigating flooded roads from the Automobile Association of Singapore and PUB.

• First, assess the depth of the water. Do not proceed if there is no clear way out of the flooded section or if you cannot tell how deep the water is.

• Avoid driving through flood water deeper than 15cm as the water at this level can stall most cars and possibly cause damage to the engine and electronics. In about 30cm of water, a typical car can begin to float and as traction is lost, so is steering control.

• If the flood water is moving, avoid driving when it is deeper than about 10cm as your car may lose grip on the road and be dragged into deeper, more dangerous waters.

• Flooded roads are best negotiated one vehicle at a time. Where possible, allow all oncoming traffic and cars in front to pass, and avoid having to stop in the middle of the flood water.

• Do not speed as it may cause aquaplaning and loss of steering control. If this happens, hold the steering lightly and gently ease off the accelerator until your speed reduces, allowing your tyres to regain grip.

• If the vehicle stalls, do not attempt to restart it as engine damage may occur. Turn on the hazard lights to alert other drivers around you and call for assistance.

Tiffany Fumiko Tay

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2018, with the headline 'Tips on driving in flooded areas'. Print Edition | Subscribe