GEICO reminds drivers of the perils of high water and the danger of flood damaged vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2017 – "Avoid the temptation to drive through the unknown puddles," stated GEICO's Risk Manager Tim Wander. "Turn around and find a different route." In 2015, flash and river floods claimed 176 lives, up dramatically from 38 in 2014 reports National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA also reports that of the 176 deaths, 112 (64%), were killed in a vehicle, likely trying to cross a flooded road.

Even if you're not swept away but water entered the vehicle, many newer cars have electrical components on the floor under the seat, and now you have potentially damaged more than just your carpet.

When driving in the rain:

• Reduce your speed.
• Maintain a safe distance.
• Turn on your headlamps.
• Choose tires with a tread pattern that pushes water away from the tire.
• If you don't see the painted lines don't drive through.

If you hydroplane, immediately take your foot off the accelerator. Don't apply the brakes abruptly or turn the steering wheel. A rotating tire has traction, a sliding one does not. Steady pressure to the brakes is best. Oils from the wet road and worn tires make it easy to lose traction and slide and simply turning on your headlamps makes you more visible to other drivers. Tire tread patterns are designed to do different tasks depending on your driving needs.

Flood vehicles:

Most people think of flood-damaged vehicles as submerged to the engine and water filling the interior to the steering wheel on. This may be true in some cases however, not all flood-damaged vehicles are easy to spot, but they all leave clues behind.

National Insurance Crime Bureau suggests the following things.

VINCheck, enter your vehicle identification number to check its reported history.
• Inspect the vehicle for water stains.
• Check for rust on screws in the console or areas where water normally doesn't reach.
• Check for mud or grit in the spare tire compartment, alternator crevices, around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
• Look under the hood for signs of oxidation. Pull back rubber boots around electrical and mechanical connections for these indicators.

For more flood information please visit GEICO More. For GEICO policyholders who need to report a loss log onto GEICO.com, or call 1-800-841-3000 24 hours a day.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles.

To make changes, report claims, print insurance cards and purchase additional products, policyholders can log into their car insurance policy, connect via GEICO Mobile, phone or by visiting a GEICO local agent.

Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft and life coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available.

Visit www.geico.com for a quote or to learn more.