Flooded Roads

Hazards of Driving a Vehicle Across Flooded Roads

Flooding can occur when streams and rivers flow over their banks, when dams or levees break, when there is run-off from deep snow, or any time there is heavy rainfall. Floodwaters can be found on roads, bridges, and low areas. Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.

The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night, when your vision is more limited.

  • Do not drive through flooded areas. If you see a flooded roadway ahead, turn around and find another route to get to your destination.
  • Be cautious, especially at night, when the visibility is limited.
  • Remember, 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
  • Two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.
  • Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, do not attempt to cross a flooded road. Water can hid dips, or worse, floodwaters can damage roadways by washing away the underlying road surface.
  • If there is no other route, proceed to higher ground and wait for the waters to subside.

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!

Contact Us

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

Monday-Friday: 7:45am-4:30pm
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