Road safety during flooding and fire

Don’t drive through floodwater or around bushfires. If you have to drive in affected areas, follow these tips to stay safe.


Floods can occur almost anywhere in Queensland and can rise over days, or in minutes in a 'flash flood'. Flood waters can move fast, so never try to drive over roads that have water over them.

To stay safe while driving in flooded areas:

  • Check if flooding is likely, plan ahead and make alternative arrangements so you are not driving on flooded roads.
  • Obey road closure signs.
  • When floodwater starts to go down, don't drive over the roads until the road is open again. Sometimes the road damage is not known until the road is completely dry and is being driven on again.
  • Drive carefully on roads that have been reopened because they may still be drying out.
  • Look out for landslides as many roadsides will have exposed layers of rocks and soil that could slip.


To stay safe on the road around bushfires:

  • To report all fires, call 000 (triple zero).
  • Listen to your local radio for updates on fire conditions in your area. Current fires and other information is available at the Rural Fire Service.
  • Turn your headlights on—smoke from fires decreases visibility of your car.
  • Avoid driving in areas where controlled burning and bushfires are burning. You should only drive during a bushfire as a last resort or if instructed to do so.
  • Ensure your car has plenty of water and fuel and there is water for anyone in the car.
  • Follow the instructions of police and fire fighters if roads are closed or affected by bushfires.
  • If you stop your car to plan your trip or safe exit from the bushfire area, park well off the road and turn your hazard lights on.

If you are caught in the path of a bushfire

Position your car to minimise exposure to radiant heat:

  • Find a clearing—park away from dense bush.
  • Park behind a barrier such as a wall or rocky outcrop.
  • Your car should face the oncoming fire front.
  • Park off roadways and turn your hazard lights on—poor visibility can cause car crashes.

Staying with your car:

  • Stay in your car, close the windows and doors tightly.
  • Cover up with woollen blankets and make sure you are below window level.
  • Drink water to make sure that you do not become dehydrated.

When the fire is close:

  • Shut all the vents and air-conditioning off.
  • Turn the engine off.

Be prepared—if you live or need to drive in bushfire-prone areas, keep woollen blankets and water in your car.