Posted by Ronan Kelly Services

How to drive through a body of water if you absolutlely must

It’s always best to avoid driving through water, especially moving water which can be even more dangerous.

You shouldn’t drive through 6 inches of still water and 4 inches of moving water. You can check this if you have the right footwear or tools. You can also pull over and watch to see if other motorists make it through the wet area. However, it is advisable to warn others rather than watching them get into harm’s way.

Why it’s dangerous

One of the most significant issues for driving through water is that the exhaust pipe will be blocked by water, this will choke up the engine not letting it breathe and expel exhaust. There’s also the issue of water getting into the engine and stopping it from working.

So a more prominent and higher car should be okay, right?

So, considering this, 4x4s should be okay? Not precisely, they still have their issues; in the case of both types of vehicle, you should stick to the crown of the road and drive slowly.  Landrover advises that you should enter the water at 1mph-2mph then speed up to 3mph-4mph. This should create a bow like a wave in new models which will keep the air intake clear.

More general rules for everyone

In any car, you should keep the engine revs up to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe. Also, if you speed up, you can push much more water into the engine that you were at risk for before. When you leave the water, check the radiator for leaves or any other blockages like twigs, also make sure to dry your brakes by using them gently a few times.

You may follow all these precautions, but you still could be sabotaged by reckless drivers around you or on the other side of the road. If a car, truck or 4×4 speeds by you, they can cause massive waves that can flood your vehicle.

If you do manage to get stuck in the water, keep the bonnet closed, escape the vehicle and lock it, then trudge through the water to safety.

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