First responders remind drivers: “Turn around, don’t drown.”

Many drivers underestimate how powerful water actually is

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If it’s pouring outside and the pavement is filled with puddles, drivers are supposed to follow one mantra, “turn around, don’t drown.”

Staying away from standing water and deep puddles can be important, and life-saving advice for drivers, but not everyone takes the time to turn around.

David Dover of Chicopee told 22News, many drivers take the risk. “I see a lot of people go right for them. I’d say about 50% go right through them, and the other 50% just go around them, or stop all together,” he said.

Walter Woodgett of Springfield said he sees other drivers speed through deep water all of the time. “I know not to do it because it could be a sinkhole, it could be a pothole, it could damage your car,” he said.

Many drivers underestimate how powerful water actually is. According to the National Weather Service, six inches of water is all it takes to sweep away some smaller cars.

A few inches of rain probably won’t carry your car away, but it can cause other mechanical issues.

Captain Patrick Halpin of the Chicopee Fire Department told 22News, if water gets into your car’s engine, it could stall out, or even cause you to hydroplane. “When you hydroplane what happens is, the water builds up in front of your tire, forces itself underneath your tire, and then you’re actually separated from the road. So you lose braking control, you lose steering ability,” he said.

That’s why when you come across a washed out road, your best bet is to avoid the risk all together by turning around, before you drown.