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Driving in flash floods Hot spots in Singapore and safety tips

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Recent monsoon downpours caused major flooding in parts of Singapore.

Some motorists were forced to abandon their cars after being stuck in floodwaters that left their vehicles un-roadworthy or seriously damaged.

There are things you can do to minimise the risks. The road safety experts at Budget Direct Insurance have this practical advice:

Good reasons to avoid flood water

  1. If you come across a flood the best advice is to avoid it and to find an alternative route. Even if you’re late for that "urgent meeting", forget it! You’ll regret ruining your car for the sake of a few minutes.
  2. Try to avoid driving through standing water above 15 cms. If it is moving water, it should be no more than 10 cms deep. In short, if it’s ankle deep - avoid it. At this level, water can easily get into your engine - bringing you to a halt and causing serious damage to your vehicle.
  3. A study by the Automobile Association says that most people would endanger their lives by driving through floodwater. And that more than a quarter of respondents would drive through moving floodwater deeper than 30cms, which is enough to move a car. Shocking statistics which show that motorists really do underestimate the power of flood water.

Safety advice if you have no alternative

If you really have no alternative and must drive through flood water, here’s what you need to know. 

  1. Enter the water at 1-2km/h and then accelerate up to 3-4km/h to create a bow wave and to keep water out of the engine. Even if you’re driving into quite shallow puddles, avoid going too fast as the car can start aquaplaning, which means the front tires are no longer steering the car and you lose control.
  2. Stay in first gear and keep the revs up to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe. Don’t speed up though, as this will push water into the engine.
  3. Stay on the crown of the road or the highest part of the road where possible and where water is most likely to be shallower.
  4. When you get out of the water, dry the brakes by using them gently.

What to do if your car aquaplanes

If you hit a build-up of water, your car can lose traction. Don’t panic. Resist the temptation to break hard or accelerate suddenly.

warning signs
image: formula1-dictionary.net

“Since hydroplaning is a loss of traction to the front tires sudden braking slows the front tires but locks the rear tires which can cause a spin out. Also sudden acceleration could pull the vehicle straight ahead which could be dangerous if the vehicle is pointed toward the edge of the roadway.” defensivedriving.com

If your car has:

  • Front wheel drive with or without ABS and traction control OR
  • Rear wheel drive with ABS and traction control

Keep your foot lightly on the accelerator, look for the best open space and gently steer in that direction.

If your car has:

  • Rear wheel drive without ABS and traction control

Ease off the accelerator and gently steer in the direction of an open space. 

Hot spots for flash floods

Areas that have been identified as problem flood spots in Singapore include:

  • Upper Thomson Road
  • Paya Lebar
  • Tanjong Pagar Road
  • Craig Road Maxwell Road
  • Tiong Bahru Road
  • Alexandra Canal Sub Drain B near Redhill MRT station
  • Bishan Road
  • Enterprise Road at Jurong West
  • Bukit Timah Road
  • Dunearn Road
  • Tampines Avenue 10
  • Pasir Ris Drive 12
  • Cashew Road
  • Jurong Gateway Road
  • Sime Darby Centre
  • Woodlands Road exit on Kranji Expressway

Meanwhile, make sure your car insurance covers flood damage. Check out our blog on car insurance and flood damage.

For all heavy rain warnings, check out the Singapore NEA website.

At Budget Direct Insurance, our Comprehensive Car Insurance covers your car for flood damage and so much more.
Check out our great deals and get an instant quote today.

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