Driving in Heavy Rain and Floods: Tips and Advice for Australians

Australia is known for having unpredictable weather patterns, which can result in heavy rain and flash flooding in certain areas. Driving in these conditions can be hazardous and requires extra caution to ensure the safety of yourself and other drivers on the road. In this article, we will provide tips and advice for driving safely in heavy rain and floods.
Check the Weather and Plan Your Journey
Before you hit the road, check the weather forecast and plan your journey accordingly. If heavy rain or flooding is expected, it’s best to postpone your trip if possible. If you must travel, try to avoid routes that are prone to flooding and areas that are already flooded.
Ensure Your Vehicle is Ready for the Conditions
Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and ready for the weather conditions. Check your windshield wipers and replace them if necessary. Ensure that your headlights, tail lights, and brake lights are working properly. It’s also important to check your tires’ tread depth and inflation. If you’re driving through deep water, make sure your car has enough ground clearance to avoid flooding the engine.
Reduce Your Speed and Increase Your Following Distance
When driving in heavy rain or flooded areas, reduce your speed and increase your following distance. This will give you more time to react if you need to stop suddenly or if the vehicle in front of you stops abruptly. It also reduces the risk of hydroplaning, which occurs when a thin layer of water separates the tires from the road, making it difficult to control the vehicle.
Avoid Sudden Movements and Sharp Turns
Avoid making sudden movements or sharp turns when driving in wet conditions. This can cause your vehicle to skid or spin out of control. Instead, make smooth and gentle movements, and be mindful of your braking and acceleration.
Use Your Headlights and Hazards
If visibility is poor, use your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers. Turn on your hazards to let other drivers know that you’re driving slower than normal or that there’s an obstacle on the road. However, avoid using high beams in heavy rain, as this can reduce visibility further.
Do Not Drive Through Flooded Areas
If you come across a flooded area, do not attempt to drive through it. Floodwater can be deeper than it appears, and it can also hide obstacles and potholes. Driving through flooded areas can also damage your vehicle and cause it to stall or breakdown. If possible, turn around and find an alternate route.
Stay Alert and Focused

Finally, stay alert and focused when driving in wet conditions. Keep both hands on the wheel and avoid distractions such as using your phone. Remember that your safety and the safety of other road users depend on your actions. It’s important to remain calm and patient and not let the weather conditions affect your driving.

In conclusion, driving in heavy rain and floods can be dangerous, but by following these tips and advice, you can reduce the risks and stay safe on the road. Always remember to prioritize safety and avoid driving in hazardous conditions whenever possible.

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