How taking on floodwaters can badly damage your car

Did you know that firefighters in Queensland save more people from floodwaters than from actual fires? What if we told you that many of these situations were caused by drivers thinking that their vehicle can cross flooded roads and become stranded?

Still think your 4WD could take on a flooded road? We take a closer look into how flood waters can trap anyone, no matter how big the car, or how experienced the driver.

What’s under the surface?

A flooded road can simply look like a wet one, especially at night. It’s difficult to assess how deep the water actually is and it’s best to always proceed with caution because you never know. Many roads that are subject to flooding in heavy rains will be signposted as such, but smaller country roads are less likely to have signage. If you come across such an example, you should notify your city council and avoid the road during heavy rain.

How flood waters can damage your vehicle

Here are a few typical examples of what can happen when you try and cross flooded roads:

  • The road has collapsed under the flood water, which cannot be seen from your car. You try and cross, but the wheel of your vehicle becomes stuck in the trench.
  • From the road, the flood water does not look like it is moving. However, when you enter into it, the body of your car is at such an angle that the water catches up underneath it, destabilising it and causing it to float. The water stalls your engine and you are a sitting duck.

How crossing a flooded road can put you in danger

Flood waters will not only permanently damage your vehicle, but will also put you in danger. Here are a few situations you might find yourself in if you decide to cross floodwaters.

  • The water can affect your power locking and windows, trapping you inside your vehicle.
  • Flood waters contain fast moving debris (which is often sharp), poisons and even snakes and crocodiles.

Putting others at risk

As the driver, you are responsible for the lives of everyone in your car. Don’t put others’ lives at risks because of your actions, or give into peer pressure. By entering flooded waters, you are also risking the lives of the people that may need to rescue you. So if it’s flooded, forget it.


“More than half of flood-related deaths are the result of driving through floodwaters, so don’t risk it” – Queensland Government.


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