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.
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.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 15 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 24 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.