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Suncorp backs safety campaign on floodwater dangers

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Suncorp has thrown its support behind Victoria State Emergency Service’s (VICSES) latest safety campaign to educate motorists about the dangers of driving through flood water ahead of the summer storm season.

The campaign is named “15 to float” to reinforce the message that it can take as little as 15cm of water for a small vehicle to float, which is equivalent to the size of an average pen.

Actions that drivers can take to stay safe will also be part of the campaign.

Suncorp says through a partnership with its AAMI brand, VICSES has developed an augmented reality experience on Facebook where motorists can “choose your own adventure” and make critical decisions on whether or not they think a car should drive in the scenarios provided.

AAMI EGM Motor Claims Anna Cartwright says AAMI and VICSES are committed to ensuring local communities are prepared for the upcoming summer storm season.

“Through our community partnerships like with the VICSES, we want to help Australians become more resilient to extreme weather like floods," she said.

“We want people to have the knowledge and ... take appropriate action to prepare, respond and recover from a natural disaster more quickly.”

Victoria SES Chief Officer Operations Tim Wiebusch says vehicles that become stranded in water place volunteer crews and other responders at risk.

“In terms of natural hazards, floods are the second highest cause of fatality in Australia, following heatwaves,” he said.

“We have long advocated that it is dangerous to drive through water over the road, but many people wouldn’t realise just how little floodwater it takes for a car to lose control.

“That’s why we created the ‘15 to float’ campaign, to highlight just how easy it is for a vehicle to become stranded in water.”

VICSES says there have been 132 rescues so far this year relating to motorists who have driven into floodwater.