Keep vigilant on flooded roads or near water

Road users are reminded to always be wary of changing road conditions and high levels of water on roads. (Supplied)

Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay road users are reminded to be extra vigilant for transport-related drowning risks during August, as new data reveals this month as the most dangerous for transport-related drownings in Victoria.

Life Saving Victoria research and health promotion general manager Bernadette Matthews said the majority of drowning fatalities while in transit occurred during August, with those aged between 25 and 64 most at risk.

“While most people are aware of road risks such as drink driving, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt, they are often unaware of the risk of drowning while driving,” she said.

“It sounds like an oxymoron, but since 2000, 43 people have drowned while in transit in Victoria, including veering into lakes, rivers or dams, or being washed away in wet conditions while driving, cycling or in other transport.

“Additionally, between 2004-05 and 2014-15, 84 Australians drowned while attempting to drive through floodwaters, proving the risk of drowning while driving is greater than you may think.”

Dr Matthews said tips to avoid risks included always remaining vigilant when behind the wheel.

“A moment’s distraction while checking a text or changing a song can be all it takes to veer off the road and into water,” she said.

“Make sure to check the conditions before you go and keep track of warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology and by tuning into the local emergency broadcaster.

“Finally, if you are driving near waterways and you notice the water level rising, change your route and go to higher ground as quickly as possible, as flash flooding may occur.”