Driving through water is risky

It's pouring rain and your way home is blocked by water over the road. It's so tempting to gun it and drive on through. Eh. It's just a small stream, right? Nope.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a mere 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult and it only takes 12 inches to wash away a small car. Two feet can carry away almost any vehicle.

That's why the next time your community receives a flood watch or warning, you’ll probably hear the phrase "turn around, don't drown" from your favorite meteorologist. It's good advice.

The NWS says that 2015 (the most recent data available) was a particularly deadly year with 176 deaths nationwide. Of those, a staggering 64 percent were killed in a vehicle, likely trying to cross a flooded road. 

Flood waters damage vehicles

Flood waters can also damage roads and displace manhole covers leaving behind holes and washouts that can damage your vehicle’s suspension or even trap your vehicle. Driving through flood waters can affect your vehicle’s wheels, electronics, and engine, which may cause permanent damage. It may even disable your vehicle, leaving it dead in the water.

  • Water in the engine. In deeper water, your engine can take water into the intake system. This condition is called hydrolock and can cause serious damage to your engine.
  • Water in the wheels. There are many parts within the wheel, from brakes to bearings. Water can damage these parts, affecting steering and braking and shortening the life of these parts.
  • Water and electronic components. They just don't mix.

We've got you covered

"Turn around, don't drown" may be cliched, but that doesn't make it any less true. It's also true that great auto insurance is a handy thing indeed if something happens to your car. Contact a Grinnell Mutual agent and check out our coverages and discounts.