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Tips for driving through a flash flood

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 13 2013 12:03:17 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 13 2013 12:08:29 AM CDT

MasterDrive's Spencer Pace offers tips and tricks for driving through a flash flood. Rana Novini reports.

In a flash flood situation, your vehicle can be swept away in seconds, leaving you with little to no control over your vehicle.

MasterDrive in Colorado Springs offers some advice for driving through a flash flood.

Spencer Pace, a driving coach with MasterDrive, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 the number one piece of advice is to avoid flood-prone areas during a flash flood warning and to avoid driving through water.

"You never know how deep the flood waters are," Pace said.  "Sometimes it's really deceiving.  It doesn't look like a whole lot of water, but once you get out there it can be a couple of inches and it only takes a couple of inches of water to wash that car away."

Pace stressed that's important to stay calm and keep your hands on the wheel.  

He also recommended trying to steer your vehicle in the right direction.  It may not do anything while you're in deep waters, but if you happen to catch any traction, it could guide you to safety. 

Pace also said it's best to leave your engine running so you have access to power-steering and braking should you need to use them.  Leave your windows up to prevent water from entering your vehicle and avoid using the gas or brake pedals.

The tough part, according to Pace, is the judgment call on when to exit your vehicle.  It's important to wait until the raging waters have cleared away from your vehicle and you have a path to safety.

"If you make the mistake of getting out of the car (too soon) and you get swept away, now you don't have that protection that the car gives you," Pace said.

Pace said it does not matter if you have an all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive vehicle, all of them are equally vulnerable in a flood.

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