Considering the flash floods that happened yesterday in Johannesburg due to the heavy rains, we thought that it might be a good idea to give you guys and girls some pointers of what to do, and what not do, if you ever found yourself stuck in your vehicle in a situation similar to what occurred on some of our Johannesburg roads yesterday.
If you are caught in a flash flood sometimes there is no choice but to move forward, it can cause damage to your vehicle and even put you in a life-threatening situation. Also remember that if your vehicle is in deep water it might be floating which can cause your wheels to loose contact with the ground. If this happens you may find yourself with no traction to the road and you will go where the water takes you. This is very dangerous.
Do your best to estimate the depth of the water, rather get a bit wet than cause damage to the vehicle
Normal cars will float in as little as 150mm of water and will be washed away in 450mm of flowing water
If you can not walk though the water you can not drive through it
Water can not go over the bonnet of the car, you can flood the air intake and cause serious damage to your vehicle
Find the shallowest part of the water to go through, roads are not always level
Before going into the water, take off your seat belt and open a window for each person in the vehicle, if you should stall or flood the vehicle this will give you a fast way out
Enter the water slowly, try to be in first gear and keep the engine revving high, we want to avoid stalling
Do not go into water with another vehicle next to you or approaching, if either vehicles start floating they can collide and strand you in the water
Move through the water slowly and evenly
When you have gone through deep water be aware of your brakes being wet, they will not stop you as efficiently as normal
If you do stall your vehicle in the water do not start it, if you do the vehicle can suck water up the exhaust and if that water gets in the motor of the vehicle it will cause serious mechanical damage
If the inside of the vehicle floods and the engine dies, get out, there is nothing more to be done
As far as possible try to avoid driving into flooded areas and avoid low-lying bridges as they present the highest danger. Rather find a way around, or you could always build a raft like us!
Please be careful out there and safe driving.
The SA Adventure Team