Safety Tips Driving safety Seasonal safety: Spring Seasonal safety: Summer Weather

‘Turn around don’t drown’ in floodwaters

Photo: djperry/iStockphoto

Flooding can happen anywhere in the country, and it’s a year-round hazard that happens in all 50 states. As little as 6 inches of floodwater can cause vehicles to lose control and stall, the National Weather Service warns.

NWS’ “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign tells us that 12 inches of fast-moving floodwater is enough to carry away most cars, while 24 inches can displace a majority of trucks and SUVs.

So, if you’re driving and come across a flooded road, don’t cross it. It’s not safe.

Other tips from NWS:

  • Don’t assume floodwaters aren’t deep. Accurately gauging the depth of the water and condition of the submerged road is difficult. The road may have collapsed – partially or completely.
  • Familiarize yourself with alternate routes in case you come to a flooded road.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with food, water and blankets, and make sure your cellphone is fully charged or you have a spare.
  • In the event that alternate routes are also impassable and severe weather remains in the area, search for higher ground and notify emergency officials immediately.

Check out the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” public service announcement, and learn more about the NWS campaign, at

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)