How big is too big when it comes to puddles?
If you are driving through an area with heavy rain and or flooding, you probably wonder how much water you can get away with driving through. As a general rule of thumb, many passenger cars can lose control and/or stall in just six inches of water. So, if you are driving and you see what might be close to a half foot of water on the road, do whatever you can to avoid driving through it even if that means pulling over for the time being. SUVs and pickups will have a bit more of leeway with this, but it is always your best bet not to tempt fate unless you are driving an amphibious car.
Staying safe when driving through water on the road
If you have determined to a certainty that some water on the road ahead is less than six inches deep, you can continue through it, but you will want to do so with the utmost safety. When you do drive through a larger puddle ensure that you do not accelerate through it. You also do not want to brake while you are in it. In short, coast through it. If you are driving a manual transmission vehicle, put your car into a low gear to accomplish this.
When you are driving through the standing water, keep your wheel steady and avoid any swerving. If you do not keep the wheel steady, you could hydroplane. You should try to drive through the center of the water as most roads are a bit more elevated in the center which means the water will be most shallow towards the middle. Finally, test your brakes after you exit the water at a very low speed. If there are any issues, pull over and call for help.
Always do whatever you can to avoid driving through deep standing water. If you have a typical type of passenger car, only six inches of water can cause your car to stall out. If you have determined that a large puddle is less than half a foot deep and you really have no other options, you can cautiously drive through it. You can accomplish that by coasting through it without accelerating or braking and by keeping your wheel steady as you do. Be sure to test your brakes immediately after you do.