Beware Driving on Flooded Roads, AAA Warn

 Beware Driving on Flooded Roads, AAA Warn
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As storms that cause heavy localized flooding continue to batter Massachusetts this summer, AAA is warning drivers to never drive on a flooded road. All too often, people underestimate the depth or force of flood waters and find themselves stranded and facing costly auto repairs, or worse.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood water. Just 12 inches of rushing water to lift a car and carry it away. Large SUVs and trucks can be moved in just two feet of water.  

Even what looks like shallow flood water can be hazardous and hide dips in the roadway, or mud that could cause a car to get stuck. Rushing floodwaters can also undermine the roadway and the weight of a moving car can cause a roadway collapse. Flood water can also contain hazardous chemicals and conceal downed power lines, complicating rescue efforts when first responders are called to save people trapped in their cars. 

AAA offers these reminders: 

  • Just six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car and stall an engine.  
  • Seek higher ground. Stalled cars can be swept away if flood waters continue to rise. 
  • Never ignore warning signs or road blocks. Local first responders put them there because people regularly get stranded in those locations. 
  • Pay attention to emergency weather alerts and take them seriously. A road can become flooded within minutes of a downpour. 
  • Be especially careful at night when it’s even harder to recognize flood dangers. 
  • Don’t feel pressured into driving through flood waters just because other people are doing it.  
  • After driving through deep water, your brakes will be wet and might not perform as expected right away. Gently apply the brakes and brake early and gently to dry them off. 
  • Hot brake rotors can warp when they come in contact with cold flood water.  
  • Always ask yourself: Can I turn around and find another route? A longer drive is better than a totaled car and putting your life at risk. 

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 67 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, providing more than 6 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services. 


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