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Tips for driving through flooded areas

21st Jun 2016 2:55 pm

The monsoon season can be a tricky time to drive. We give you a few pointers on how best to tackle flooded areas in your car.


Mumbai’s infamous monsoon season is here, and our road infrastructure is anything but capable of handling the incessant rains. Here are some of the best practices when you have to drive through water.

In case you find yourself in a flooded area, venture out only if the water is half a foot lower than the air inlet to avoid the water from entering the engine. If you suspect water has entered the engine, immediately switch off the car to avoid any further damage.

If you are attempting to access a flooded area, assess the depth of the water. Do this by watching other people walk through or watching other cars go through first.

What you’re looking for is if the water is higher than the wheel. If it is, then it’s best to avoid that road and take another route.

When driving through flooded areas, always drive in first gear. Use a bit of revs and drive steadily. This is the best way to go through.

Staying in first gear will also keep you from speeding. Speed is the biggest enemy while wading through patches of water.

Don’t panic when the water level rises. Continue to drive in a steady manner.

If your car does stall, do not try to restart. If you restart the engine while underwater, the engine’s connecting rods will break. This will cause serious damage and will cost a lot to repair. Instead, get out and push the car to the nearest lane and call a breakdown van. 

If the flooding gets really bad and you get stuck inside the car with water up to the window outside, don’t panic. As difficult as it may sound, knock open the passenger door with both feet and get out of the car. If the force of the water outside is too strong to kick open the door, then you can use the detachable headrest in your car to smash the window open.

Do not, under any circumstance, try to break open the windscreen. The reinforced glass is extremely strong and will be very tough to crack.

Always keep a track of oxygen levels in the car. If it gets claustrophobic, don’t hesitate to abandon your car and get to safety. Your life is far more important than your car.

It pays to be prepared while venturing out in your car in the monsoons, so be sure to follow these tips. They could end up saving you thousands of rupees in repair bills. Drive safe.

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