The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) is imploring drivers to exercise extreme caution as the wild weather continues to batter down on Queensland and New South Wales.
Beyond poor visibility and slippery surfaces, road safety authorities are warning of the lesser-known risks associated with extreme flood and rain events.
ARSF founder and CEO Russell White said it is vital that motorists are aware that massive rain events can fill streets with unexpected hazards.
“It’s common to find dangerous debris, mud, silt and even large potholes during the kind of weather event like we’re experiencing, particularly when heavy rain is teamed with high winds,” Mr White said.
“Flood waters can cause severe damage to even the best roads, and drivers should be conscious that dangers will continue for many weeks as areas of the infrastructure network are repaired or rebuilt.”
Mr White said that tragically many lives have been lost due to drivers attempting to cross flood waters.
“Cars are not designed to travel through water of any depth, vehicles can stall, float away or starting filling with water in a matter of seconds,” Mr White said.
“It’s important to be aware that even a seemingly small puddle could be harbouring dangers beneath the surface such as large potholes or parts of the road that have been washed away completely,”
“No matter how well you think you know the road or what you think your car is capable of you risk putting yourself in danger very quickly,” he said.
Mr White implored drivers to adopt a ‘Look, Listen and Think’ approach to driving during these dangerous conditions:
- Look: as far ahead as possible to best ensure you’re as prepared for what lays before you to avoid potential hazards and debris
- Listen: to the advice of the authorities, taking extra care around road work sites, troubled areas and taking heed of detour instructions
- Think: about the potential dangers and make cautious decisions such as slowing down, driving to suit the conditions, and avoiding flooded roads