India is a country where road conditions are not the best. There are potholes, bad patches, bad speed breakers and there can be water clogging in case of heavy rains. And with the rainy season coming soon it is good to remember few pointers that can help you stay calm if you find yourself in a tricky situation. Here are 10 things that you must remember while driving through a flooded road.
Not judging the water level wisely
If you travel by road daily then you eventually learn where all the potholes and speed breakers are. For instance, the road that you use for your daily commutes to the office. You would know about the conditions of the road like the back of your hand. However, you cannot stay the same for an unknown road. So, driving on a new road increases the risk factor. There is a potential risk of your car’s tyre getting stuck in an open manhole from which the water is overflowing or there can be open drains on the side of the road. So, you should not just see the water level as it can trick you. It is better to take a familiar route in case of heavy rains because you would be able to judge the water level better on a familiar road.
Many people especially young drivers love to take their cars through stagnant water which has collected on the side of the road. But if we think, this can potentially damage the car. If you go through the water hard enough the water can damage the bumper. We have seen such cases with the new Thar in which the number plate fell off and there was damage to the bumper too. It is the immense force of the water that causes this. Also, the water can get into the engine and the ECU can hydro lock the car because it senses that some water has gotten into the engine. The best way to go through a waterlogged road is to drive in a lower gear that too with a high rpm. Maintaining a high rpm lowers the chances of water getting into the exhaust.
Many people think that tailgating is an effective way of crossing a waterlogged road. However, it is the other way round. When the vehicle in front of you crosses a waterlogged road, it displaces the water which creates ripples. These ripples increase the water level by a few inches. So, you would have to cross the increased water level. This can cause the water to enter into your air intake which can be very dangerous. It is better to let the water settle again and then follow the vehicle. Also, it is possible that the person travelling in front of you is a more experienced driver and uses this route daily. So, he would know where the bad patch of road is.
Follow the safest line
The road conditions in Tier 1 cities might have improved. So, some of them are able to displace water faster and handle heavy rainfalls. These new roads are strategically made so that they are higher in the middle. This is what helps in displacing water faster. So, if you have to go through a submerged road it is better to stay in the middle lane.
Don’t crank if it stalls
It is common for cars to stall on an extreme water clogged road. One of the reasons for stalling can be that water has entered into the air intake which brings the car to a halt. If this happens then you should never start your car again because this would just damage the engine even more. Your engine might get hydro locked which would require a professional mechanic to fix. So, it is better that you call a tow truck and tow your vehicle to the nearby authorized service centre.
Look for alternate routes
It is always better to take an open road that has a lower chance of waterlogging even if you have to take a longer route. Thanks to Google Maps, it is now easier to navigate than ever. Taking a longer route with open roads might take a longer time to reach home but at least there are more chances of you reaching safely without damaging your car.
Don’t panic brake
It is very normal for a driver to hit the brakes when the vehicle hits a speed breaker, unexpected bumps and potholes. However, if you are driving through a waterlogged road, it is more important to keep the momentum. This is because if you brake your engine revs will fall which can give a chance to water to get into the exhaust pipe.
Not checking your brakes
When you come out of a waterlogged road and you have a stretch of clear road ahead it is advised that you apply your brakes a few times. What this will do is push out the unwanted garbage or slush that might have stick to the underbody or the brakes of the vehicle. If you think that some unwanted sound is coming then just park your car on the side and take a look under the body of the car. It might also happen that your brakes are making a sound. Once the rotors and the brake pads are dried, the sound should go away.
Not waiting for rain to go away
This might be the most important tip that a person can follow. It is always advisable to wait for the rain to stop. If you are still at your office or some shop then it is better that you park your vehicle and just wait for the rain to stop. Doing this would reduce the chances of you getting stuck. Also, do not forget to turn on your hazard lights.