Flooding is common throughout Colorado in some vulnerable communities. Unfortunately, it’s in these places that drivers have to be cautious about avoiding floods, or they could end up in a crash or with a dead vehicle.
Since Colorado is dealing with droughts at the moment, you might wonder why knowing about flooding is important. The reality is that dried out areas don’t absorb water as well as moist ground, so if it does rain and break the heatwave, flash flooding could occur.
Flash floods: A hazard to drivers
Flash flooding is a hazard to drivers for several reasons. First, the water may be traveling quickly, which has the potential to push vehicles into other lanes or drag them off roadways. Hydroplaning is more likely, which could mean that your vehicle skids straight into the tail end of a person in front of you or glides over into oncoming traffic while you try to regain control.
Knowing how to maneuver your vehicle, and when it’s safer to pull over, is key when flooding is present.
How can you stay safe during floods or flash floods?
First, if it’s raining after a long dry spell, make sure you keep your radio turned to a weather station to check for flooding in the area. Water may be deceptive, so you may think that it looks shallow at the moment, but it may quickly gather in areas where it can’t yet be absorbed.
If your do drive into a puddle that is deeper than you thought, keep driving with the gas pedal down. By accelerating, you’re preventing the water from entering the engine, which could ruin your vehicle.
Remember to check your brakes after going through water. Test them at a low speed, because brakes may not work as well when they’re wet. If they’re not working well, then you could end up involved in a rear-end crash when you try to stop.
Finally, know when to pull over. If the water is getting high and you’re finding it hard to control your vehicle, park on high ground (when possible) and exit your vehicle. It’s better to wait out the storm, so you can avoid a car accident.