Durban and surrounding areas have been experiencing some erratic weather patterns recently which have left damages to homes, businesses and vehicles. More recently some drivers were caught in a flash flood during their daily commute. Here are some tips on how you can avoid these types of dangerous situations.
First and foremost, before switching off and making a quick exit, assess the situation. Look out for signs of potential danger, like bodies of water, gushing water on roads or banks. Continuous heavy rain will most likely lead to a flood. It is better to find a safe place to park off until it stops or slows down. Places prone to flooding are low lying bridges, areas with poor drainage, or roads near/next to rivers.
What do you do if you are caught in a flash flood and have no exit?
If the depth of the water cannot be estimated then driving through it is a risk, but if you have to then it is advisable to try and keep in the centre of the road. Wade through slowly so as to avoid any splashes into the engine compartment. If you feel you are losing control of the vehicle it is better to exit the vehicle to safety.
Even SUV’s and 4×4’s can be washed away depending on the severity and depth of the flood so it’s always better to avoid driving into flowing water. If you have to then drive very slowly on low gears, do not stall or switch off until you pass the water and have been driving for some time. DO NOT slam brakes after wading through a pool of water to avoid skidding, rather drive at a distance for the brakes to dry off.
If you feel the vehicle can’t make it through the water, it is better to get yourself to safety by exiting and assessing the depth and pace of the flow and then making sure you have sure footing. Slowly make your way towards the nearest solid structure.
Most cars and insurance companies offer free-roadside assistance, so if you get stuck rather leave the car and get them to sort it out or tow it away to the nearest workshop.
Vehicles can be replaced, your life cannot! Rather be safe and cautious!
Make sure your vehicle is in roadworthy condition always. Bring your vehicle in to CMH Umhlanga GM for a check up on essential items like tyres, wiper blades, brakes and shocks.