After 3 Inches of Rain has Fallen AAA Urges Caution when Driving

Photo from AAA-The Auto Club Group.

Near-constant rain is creating flooding through parts of Tennessee. AAA urges caution on the road during periods of heavy rainfall because it can cause reduced visibility. In fact, nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes occur each year on wet pavement with more than a half million injuries and 5,700 deaths, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“There’s no way to tell how deep standing water is, so motorists should avoid driving through water covered and flooded roads,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director for “The Auto Club Group.” “Driving on familiar water covered roads is no safer because objects could be below the water that could cause damage to your vehicle.”
Here’s what can happen to your vehicle if you drive through standing water:
• Engine floods with rain water
• Brake rotors warp from rapid cooling when immersed in water
• Loss of power steering
• Short in electrical components
Know what to do if your vehicle stalls in water:
• DO NOT remain in the car. Abandon it as soon as possible and seek higher ground. Flood waters can elevate quickly, sweeping away the vehicle and its occupants.
• Do not restart the vehicle. If your vehicle shuts down while in standing water, do not try to restart it. Restarting a vehicle in standing water can cause more water to enter the engine and could cost thousands of dollars to repair.
• Contact your insurance company. Depending on the vehicle year, make and model, the cost of repairing flood damage can easily exceed a car’s value. Contact your insurance company for help in determining the best course of action.
• Have vehicle inspected by a qualified technician. Once the vehicle can be moved safely, take it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection of mechanical and electrical systems and to flush contaminated systems.