Here are a few tips you should keep in your mind while driving in the monsoon season or driving the car through floodwater.
In the rainy season, waterlogging or floods are quite common in India because of the ill-maintained roads and infrastructure. As you may know, that monsoon is all set to kick in, and many cities across the country are preparing themselves to take on the unforeseeable weather. If you are the one who drives a car in India on regular basis then you may know that how tough it is to drive in the monsoon season because of the wet slippery roads, poor visibility and driving conditions. If a person takes out his car in rainy season in India, he can easily spot deep puddles and large potholes. Here are some important tips to help you stay safe while driving in monsoon.
How to protect your parked car in floods?
If your car is parked in the floodwater, here’s what one can do:
Turn off the engine
If you find yourself stuck in floodwater or a puddle, the first thing you should do is to turn off your car’s engine because water can enter the air intake and can damage the powertrain. Switching off the engine can prevent water from entering the engine. Moreover, if the water has already entered the air intake, then quickly switch off the ignition and save your car’s engine from seizing.
Park your car on the roadside
If you find that the floods are too much, the best thing one can do is to find a ground spot to park the car. And if you are not able to find any higher parking spot then park your car on the side of the road, a bit away from moving traffic. Moreover, once you've parked the car, try to disconnect the battery after turning off the engine.
Safely disconnect the battery
The battery is the heart of your car. Without the battery, your car’s engine and other components will not work. That’s why you should disconnect the battery once you park the car on a safe spot. As many of you may know that water and electricity do not play well together and if your car gets in contact with flood water then the electric components of the car can get damaged and can also give you a shock. Furthermore, after staying out of flood for some time, reconnect the battery and check whether all the electric components are working properly or not.
Wait Till The Floods Go Away
Once you park the car on a safe spot, you should wait for the floodwater to reduce or go away before you assess the overall damage. When the floodwater is completely gone, you can take the car to a mechanic for a complete check-up. Moreover, if your vehicle is severely damaged, you can also get in touch with your insurance company for major repairs.
How to carefully drive your car via flood?
- Keep revving the engine
Always make sure that the level of floods is low enough that you can effortlessly go through it. Keep your car in first gear and continuously rev the motor while driving via flood. Continuous revving can prevent water from entering the air intake and can save the engine from seizing.
- Drive the car at slow speed
Two aspects are very important while driving- traction and visibility and both the aspects reduce significantly during the rainy season. In monsoon, the roads are always wet and slippery, and the tyres fail to grip themselves to the road properly. That’s why a person should always drive at low speeds during the rainy season. Driving your car at first gear during monsoon will prevent the car from losing control.
- Leave the car if flood rival rises
If you find waterflood in front of you, and even if you know that your car is capable enough to counter it easily, you might not know what the condition is ahead. Moreover, if you see the flood water rising gradually, and reaches halfway up to your car’s door, it’s good that you park the car roadside and exit the vehicle as soon as possible. Because, once the flood water reaches the dangerous levels, then your cars electric components can fail and can also jam the door due to the pressure of water. You can come back to your car when the flood water decreases with a mechanic to check the damage.
- Use headrests to break the windows
As we’ve mentioned earlier that if you find yourself in the deep floods where your doors are jammed due to pressure and windows are not working, you still have a way to get out of the vehicle. One can use headrests to break the glass of the car and easily escape the vehicle. Many people don’t know, but the headrests are built with pointy edges by which one can break the window or glass in an emergency. However, many experts advise drivers to carry a small hammer in the glove compartment of the car.
- Stay away from trees and electric pole
Many of you may think that hiding under a tree while raining will be quite helpful, nevertheless, that could be one the worst possible ideas. One should always prevent parking car near trees or electricity poles during the rainy season because the rains are often accompanied by lightning. So, if the lightning strikes the tree standing above your car, then chances are high that it could fall on your car and damage the vehicle. In the same way, an electric pole struck by lightning can short circuit your car and can damage everything inside the cabin. Even if you are driving the car during lightning, try to stay a bit away from trees and electricity poles.
- Stop if visibility declines
During the rainy days, road visibility for drivers reduces significantly. Moreover, most of the accidents happen due to the lack of visibility. If you are not able to see anything while driving in monsoon, you should look for a safe spot to stop and wait for the rain to reduce or stop. Driving in these conditions can be extremely dangerous. In emergency cases, switch on all the lights including headlights, fog lamps, taillights and even the cabin light by which others can easily spot you coming. Doing this will keep you and others on the road safe and will also offer better visibility. Moreover, one should also keep a safe distance from other vehicles during monsoon.
Step-by-step to help you drive through floods
Step-1: Before you can start driving via the floodwater, you need to slow down the car or completely bring it to a halt. This will surely help you to assess the depth of the flood.
Step-2: Turn on the headlights and hazard lights, if they are turned off for better visibility while driving. Doing this will help you to see the water-logging and give you a good idea regarding its depth. Always make sure that that the depth is not much for the type of vehicle you are driving.
Step-3: After turning on the hazard lights, turn off the air conditioner because flood water could easily damage the fan that is fitted in the engine compartment.
Step-4: Now with your car’s air conditioner off and hazards lights on, you can start driving in the floodwater slowly. One can also roll down windows if it’s not raining to ventilate the cabin. Also, remember to keep your engine revving so that the water doesn’t enter in your car’s engine through an exhaust pipe and damage it.
Step-5: While driving via floods, one should not stop the car, especially when the water level is high. This could lead the powertrain stalling and could leave you stuck inside the vehicle.
Step-6: Once you find the level of flood water lowering, you can gradually increase the speed of the car. As soon as you get out of the flood, stop your car roadside and check whether everything is working properly or not.
Step-7: On the other hand, if your car shuts down after driving out of the flood, try to be calm. Park your car roadside switch on the hazard lights and look out for some help. One should contact the mechanic. Moreover, if you are capable enough to check the vehicle by yourself lookout for any damage happened to the engine, transmission or carburettor.
Step-8: After checking that the engine and other components working properly, stop for a while let your car to dry a bit and then continue to drive as usual.