Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Emergency Management

Turn Around Don’t Drown

Don’t drive through flooded roads - you put yourself and emergency responders in danger. Vehicles stranded on flooded roads have become a far too frequent occurrence. Images of flooded cars and drivers being rescued from the water are seen with news coverage of almost every major flood event. You should not be surprised to hear that this also happens here in Dane County.

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. These occurrences are almost entirely preventable.

One reason that so many people drown during flooding is that people often underestimate the power of moving water.

  • A mere six inches of flood water can knock over an adult. Do not walk through moving water. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.

Do not drive into flooded areas. Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.

It is never safe to drive through flood water. Learn more about Turn Around Don’t Drown.