5 Essential Safety Tips for Driving Trucks in Calgary During Floods
5 Essential Safety Tips for Driving Trucks in Calgary During Floods

5 Essential Safety Tips for Driving Trucks in Calgary During Floods

August 21, 2023

Floods aren’t uncommon, especially considering the unpredictable weather patterns we’ve been witnessing around the globe. If you are a truck driver, encountering floods and water-logged routes can quickly become a part of your reality. However, driving in such precarious conditions is no small feat. Prioritizing safety is crucial, and hopefully, the following tips will help you navigate through floodwaters safely.

Don’t Overtake Other Vehicles

Sharing the road with others during a flood can be challenging, and the experience may lead some drivers to attempt overtaking other vehicles to ‘get ahead.’ However, doing so can be dangerous as the floodwater may conceal hidden obstacles like open manholes, debris, or even washed-out roads.

The sudden slowdowns or abrupt stops that result from such risks can lead to severe accidents. Patience is critical during these circumstances, so don’t try to overtake other vehicles. Be a responsible driver and maintain your position in the traffic queue.

Drive in First Gear

Driving trucks in Calgary in first gear will allow you better control over your vehicle, and that’s important while navigating through floodwaters. Doing this will reduce your chances of losing control while preventing water from entering your vehicle’s exhaust pipe.

When driving at a slower speed (ideally no more than 5-8 mph) in floodwaters, you will create a small bow wave in front of your vehicle. This wave can push water safely aside and prevent it from splashing on your vehicle, minimizing the chances of sudden vehicle stalls or floatation.

Rev the Engine

While crossing deep-standing water, reviving your vehicle’s engine is crucial in preventing water ingress into the exhaust pipe. Higher engine revs create more pressure in the exhaust system, effectively pushing the water out, which helps avoid damaging or stalling your engine.

When crossing isolated patches of deep water, you can use the strategy called the “rev n’ cross” method while driving in first gear.

Turn Off the AC and Turn on Hazard Lights

Turning off your vehicle’s air conditioning system during flood conditions is a good practice. The AC can strain the engine and increase fuel consumption, which isn’t ideal when facing the challenges of floods.
Activate your hazard lights to ensure the visibility and safety of yourself and others. Additionally, signal your intentions when slowing down, stopping, or changing lanes. These actions can be lifesaving in low visibility conditions, such as heavy rain and floods, as they provide ample warning to other drivers.

Get Your Vehicle Checked ASAP

Once you have safely navigated through the flooded area, get your vehicle checked by a professional or at an authorized service center. Floodwater can hide mud, debris, or contaminated materials that can cause lasting damage to the undercarriage, brakes, suspension, and other parts of your vehicle.

Moreover, getting your truck inspected for potential water penetration in the electrical systems or air filters will help you detect and address any issues early on, thus avoiding costly repairs down the road.

In conclusion, being prepared and maintaining a strong focus on safety is essential while driving in flooded conditions. Good judgment and knowledge of safe driving practices can help you tackle such challenging conditions. When on the road during floods, remember that nothing is more valuable than your life and the lives of those around you.

Image Credit: Canva.com

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