Every year floods across India create a lot of problems for motorists. While the authorities take steps to reduce the flood by cleaning the drains every year, it shows little effect in most parts of the country. Driving on flooded roads can be full of problems but here are 10 things that you can do to ensure that you do not face such problems.
Judge the water level
There are times when water is flooded on your daily route of travel and you feel almost like a reflex or no-brainer to go through the submerged road because you know the road like the back of your hand. It’s almost safe to do so, but you can’t be entirely certain as the rain could have damaged the road in places you’re unaware of.
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On an unknown road, it’s definitely a huge risk to get out of the vehicle and walk the road to figure out the depth of the way ahead to anticipate whether your car can go all the way or not. The potential risks in this activity include you getting in contact with the highly contaminated sewage water that overflowed from the underground sewages or falling into a manhole because the manhole cover could have been displaced due to the water.
Of course, the real essence of driving and having fun during the monsoons is to take your car through stagnant water and high water splashes on either side of the car, but let’s rewind and think before we take this exhilarating step in our lives. First of all, stagnant water can hit the vehicle with immense force and your car bumper could easily fall off in the water. The bigger problem is taking your car at a high speed, in stagnant water at a high engine RPM could potentially hydro lock the car.
The engine can get seized because at a high RPM, the car takes a higher volume of air to burn the fuel and because of that there’s a chance that water droplets enter the intake of the car. The best way to cross a waterlogged road is to drive at a low gear and a high RPM as the lower the RPM higher the chances of water entering your exhaust.
Tailgating on waterlogged roads is much more dangerous than it seems. When there’s a vehicle moving in front of you through water, it displaces the stagnant water which creates ripples. These ripples raise the water levels by a few inches, so your entire estimation of successfully crossing behind a vehicle can actually result in the water entering the air intake.
Don’t follow blindly
We can’t stress this point more, it is never wise to go on unknown paths when it comes to waterlogged roads with your precious car, even if you feel highly adventurous and confident. When you see other cars passing through these roads effortlessly, it might give a boost to your confidence and you might just follow the car.
However, it’s highly possible that the driver knows the road really well or he also might just be trying out his luck. Also, all cars are different, you need to be absolutely sure that your car can take the depth of the water comfortably without causing any water droplets to enter the exhaust. Turbocharged engines cause more trouble than naturally aspirated engines as they suck in more air.
Find the safest line
With time, the road conditions in our country have improved a lot. Tier 1 cities are mostly equipped with roads which can handle heavy rainfall and displace water off the roads faster compared to older roads. These new roads are higher in the middle and hence help the water displacements. Therefore, if you have no other option but to go through the submerged road, taking the middle lane is the safest of the lanes.
Stop cranking the car
It is a common problem faced by cars on extreme waterlogged roads and the driver drives through it at a high speed. The water enters the air intake and the engine shuts off, bringing the car to a complete halt. Almost as a reflex, if our car stops working in the middle of the road, we start the car. We need to control this and under no conditions should start our car or even try.
The combustions stop as soon as the water is detected in the engine and cranking could only lead to damaging the engine further. This incident of hydro locking should only be looked at and fixed by professionals and the car should only be moved away with the help of an external vehicle such as a crane or a tow truck.
Know alternate routes
Thanks to google maps and the dependability that we millennials have on that app, it’s easier to navigate through multiple routes leading to the same direction or destination. Even if it’s a longer route, it is always wise to take a route that is least likely to be affected by the rainfall. Sometimes, all you do is use the method of hit and trial even if that is worth it compared to putting your car into unnecessary damage and a lot of trouble and financial hit to you.
Do not panic brake
As a driver, when you’re absolutely unaware of the texture and state of the road you’re driving, it’s quite natural to apply brakes just to be safe. It is a huge disaster on a submerged road. As drivers, you have to keep in mind that it’s natural to hit a few unexpected bumps in the form of potholes and speed breakers, so there’s no need for panic. It is vital that there is constant acceleration on a submerged road, otherwise, the force of the water can put pressure on the exhaust gases and gush in rapidly.
Drain your brakes
Just when you have successfully gone through a waterlogged road and reached a clearer road, it is advisable that you apply the brakes a few times. It is highly likely that the water had some soli garbage that didn’t dissolve and flow away with the water, applying the brakes pushes out any garbage that is hanging from the underbody of the vehicle. They also make sure that your engine becomes dry rapidly and keeps it moving normally.
Wait for the right time
Out of all the nine tips listed above, this is the best solution when you face a submerged road. Don’t panic or hesitate to wait, if you have the time and patience. Find yourself a secure parking spot, if it’s a drier road, even better and doesn’t forget to put your hazard lights on. This practice can save you from a lot of mental, physical and financial stress.
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