How to Stay Safe Driving in Flood Waters

How to Drive Safely in Flood Waters

Texas has sure seen its share of rain and flash flooding this past month, and many of us are not used to dealing with flood waters. I thought this would be a great time to share some important flood safety information that you can use to keep your family safe if you venture onto the roadways.

The first thing you need to do when you hear of a flash flood in the area is move to higher ground and avoid drainages and low spots. Almost half of flash flood fatalities occur when people are in their vehicles. Avoid being in your vehicle if at all possible during flood warnings.

If you are in a vehicle navigating through flooded road, never ever attempt to drive through a flooded roadway. Maybe you’ve seen the signs on our highways that say, “Turn around, don’t drown”. It is important to heed these warnings.

Water often is much deeper than it may look because it may not be possible to see below the surface of the water to recognize that the roadway has been washed away. It only takes one to two feet of water to carry your car over the edge. Here are some other important factors to consider when you’re dealing with driving in flood waters:

  • Only six inches of water will reach the bottom of most cars and cause a loss of control and a possible stall.
  • Only one foot of water will float vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water will carry away most vehicles, including SUV’s and trucks.
  • Never drive around a barricade because it is there for a good reason, possible to save your life. Turn around and go the other direction.
  • Do not take short cuts or back roads. Always stick to designated evacuation routes if in place.
  • Avoid driving at night during flash floods or when areas are flooded. It is very difficult to recognize the dangers in the dark.

Of course, avoid driving while under flash flood watches or inclement weather is present. There is no destination that is important enough to reach worth risking your life. Hopefully we have seen the worst flooding come to an end here in Texas. If not, though, I hope these tips come in handy.



Author: Kay Van Wey

Kay Van Wey is an award-winning Board Certified Texas Personal Injury Lawyer. Learn more at

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