What to do if you encounter flood water while driving

Lagos just survived the annual “7 Days” rain spell and despite the widespread flooding & damage to property and livelihood for some; we are thankful that there has been no publicised loss of life. It is virtually guaranteed that motorists will encounter high standing water during this season due to the natural topography of the state.

Here’s what to do if you encounter flood waters while driving:

The best advice is avoid. If you can find a solution that doesn’t involve driving through floodwater, you minimise the risk to both you and your car. It’s almost always worth turning around and finding another route if a road is flooded

You should definitely avoid driving through more than six inches of standing water, or more than four inches of moving water. Suitable footwear might allow you to gauge the depth of the flood by yourself, but a less charitable approach is to park up and observe other motorists. See how another car gets on, and then proceed with caution.

If you decide to go through, stay on the top of the road where possible and crawl through the water very slowly in first gear. Keep the engine revs up to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe. Also avoid the temptation to make a quick exit, as going at speed can push water into the engine.

Entering the water slowly before accelerating helps to create a bow wave in front of the vehicle, which will create a depression in the engine bay and keep the air intake clear of water. Avoid going too fast into even quite shallow puddles as that can cause a lot of damages where the front tyres will no longer steer the car and you lose control. It is also inconsiderate and illegal to soak pedestrians.

When you emerge from the water, dry the brakes by using them gently, and if there were leaves in the water, check the radiator for blockages. Another thing to watch out for is the lunatics coming the other way. You might be observing all the best advice, but trucks racing though in the opposite direction can create such bow waves they drown your car. If the worst happens and your car stops, leave the bonnet closed to avoid any further water access, climb out, lock the car and walk to dry land.

Please call us at CitiWebb Auto Centers on the numbers below to arrange for a flatbed tow or mechanic call out service if you are in doubt of your vehicles condition after the big flood of July.

Contact info: +234 705 459 2006 or +234 908 777 3333


Be safe on our roads!                                                                                             

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