There are things you can do to minimise the risks. The road safety experts at EasyCompare have this practical advice:
Good reasons to avoid flood water
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 but to drive in flood water
If you really have no alternative and must drive through flood water, here’s what you need to know.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Thailand's Department of Land Transport said on its website about driving in the rainy season: "The driver might lose control of the vehicle if driving through a puddle at high speed. The best thing to do if you see a puddle ahead is to take your foot off the accelerator and do not step on the break."*
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.
12 Hot spots for flash floods in Bangkok
Areas that have been identified as problem flood spots in Bangkok in 2021** include:
Phra Nakorn Area, the east of Chao Praya river
- Chatuchak district, 1) Ratchadapisek road in front of Bangkok Bank
- Bangsue district, 2) Pracharat sai2 Taopun intersection
- Laksi district, 3) Changwattana road between Klong Prapa road to Klong Premprachakon
- Dusit district, 4) Ratchawithi road in front of Suan Dusit University and Krung Thonburi bridge
- Ratchathewi district, 5) Phaya Thai road in front of Department of Livestock and 6) Sri Ayutthaya road in front of Phaya Thai police station
- Sathorn district, 7) Chan road between Soi Bampenkusol until Yannawa Post Office 8) Suanplu road from south Sathron to Nanglinchee 9) Satupradit road Chan intersection
Thon Buri Area, the west of Chao Praya river
- Bang Khun Thian district, 10) Bang Khun Thian road between Rama2 road to Klong Sakae-ngam
- Bangkae district, 11) Petchkrasem road between Klong Tawee Wattana to Klong Ratchamontri, 12) Moo Baansettakit road from Petchkrasem to Kanchanapisek roundabout
Meanwhile, make sure your car insurance covers flood damage.
For all heavy rain warnings, check out Thailand Meteorological Department.
Comprehensive Car Insurance generally covers your car for flood damage and so much more. Check out our great deals at EasyCompare and get an instant quote today or dial 02 206 8555.
*Department of Land Transport, Transport Ministry
**Bangkokbiznews, April 15, 2022