Safety Tips for Flooded Roads

Pickup truck

Follow these safety rules when roads are flooded:

  1. 1Avoid roads already flooded. The road may be washed out under floodwaters.
  2. 2Be especially cautious when driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  3. 3Monitor your weather radio or your favorite news source for vital weather-related information.
  4. 4If flooding occurs, get to higher ground.
  5. 5Get out of areas subject to flooding. These include dips, low spots, canyons, and normally dry washes.
  6. 6Turn Around Don’t Drown™ when you encounter a flooded road.
  7. 7If heavy rain is forecast or occurring, move your campsite and vehicle away from streams and washes.

Many drivers overestimate their ability to navigate flooded roads, putting too much stock in their “heavy” vehicles. In reality, most motorists lose control of their vehicles, including SUVs, in just six inches of water, while 18-24 inches of moving water will force a vehicle off the road.

The menace is the buoyant force. When the buoyant force is greater than the vehicle’s weight, the vehicle will move with the moving water. Besides the buoyant force, erosion is another significant concern. Moving water is very powerful and can undermine the integrity of a road. A motorist will be unaware they are driving into a scoured out section of the road.

Information provided by the National Weather Service.


The information presented in this document is for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to assist individuals, farmers, and business owners in identifying common hazards/risks and considering proactive loss prevention or loss mitigation actions. For information related to specific loss hazards, please contact your insurance agent.

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