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Open water is a stretch of water which is not enclosed by land, ice or other barriers. The melting of ice on rivers and the like in spring! Life wouldn’t exist without the sun, yet the sun presents a major challenge and a potential danger to open water (flooding).

Driving in a flood poses some problems. And these are some of the conditions which occur when driving in open water.

  • The road becomes wet and slippery. Something that is slippery is smooth, wet or oily and is therefore difficult to walk on or to hold. Road slipperiness can be measured either in terms of the friction between a freely spinning wheel and the ground or the braking distance of a braking vehicle and is related to the coefficient of friction between the tyre and the road surface.


Some increase in slipperiness of a section of road can increase the accident rate of the section of road tenfold. Maintenance activities affecting slipperiness include drainage repair, snow removal and street sweeping.

  • Visibility ahead may be reduced. In transport, driver visibility is the maximum distance at which the driver of a vehicle can see and identify prominent objects around the vehicle. When driving in a flood, the driver may not be able to see and identify prominent objects around the vehicle. The part of a vehicle that influence visibility include the windshield, the dashboard and the pillars. Good driver visibility is essential to safe road traffic.



  • The types of the vehicle may not have full grip on the road surface because of lack of adhesion. Adhesion railway or adhesion traction is the most common type of railway, where power is applied by driving some or all of the wheels of the locomotive. Traction or friction can be reduced when the rails or road are greasy because of rain, oil or decomposing leaves.


  • Some roads may become impassable because of flood.


  • As a result of the wetness of the road, braking and stopping distance become longer: to be a safe driver you need to understand the factors that affect a car’s stopping distance. The stopping distance depends on two factors.


  1. Thinking distance: It takes time for a driver to react to a situation. During this reaction time the car carries on moving. The thinking distance is the distance travelled in between the driver realizing he needs to brake and actually braking.


  1. Braking distance: The braking distance is the distance taken to stop once the brakes are applied.

Stopping distance = Thinking distance + braking distance.


Thinking distance can be increased by:


  • Greater speed
  • Tiredness
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Distractions

Braking distance can be increased by:

  • Greater speed
  • Poor road conditions (icy, wet)
  • Car conditions (bad tyres, poor brakes)

What one can do when driving in a flood?

  • Reduce your speed
  • Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead from 2 seconds to 3, 4 or 5 seconds
  • Never drive so close to the edge of the road
  • Make sure your wiper blades are functioning

You can contact Eureka Technical Services Limited for more information!

We are a security and safety limited company focused in ensuring road safety has all that you need to ensure road safety! Contact us for all your road safety needs: Speed Warning Systems, Car Alarms, Digital Speed Governor with Record and Online Tracking and Vehicle Tracking System.

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Eureka Technical Services Limited

Email: [email protected]

Call: +254 2044517, +254 204445155

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