Thunderstorms bringing heavy rain have prompted flood warnings by the National Weather Service (NWS) around the nation today.
This makes for hazardous driving conditions and prompts the need for reminders about the dangers of driving in wet weather and how to stay safe.
Rough weather will make for a hazardous drive
Spirited and strong thunderstorms will make roadways treacherous today. Heavy rain will diminish visibility while bringing the threat of flash flooding to several states today.
Rapid rainfall is expected to create a deluge that is anticipated to bring unexpected flash flooding in various locations.
Flash flooding is the #1 weather-related killer – Be safe
Drivers should try to avoid contact with any floodwaters. Flash floods are extremely dangerous because they strike suddenly and drivers need to be alert for this hazardous situation today.
The water on the roadway can be deceptively deadly. What might look like a little bit of water could be deeper than you realize.
Six inches of water can cause your tires to lose traction and begin to slide. Most vehicles can be swept off the road in 12 inches of water.
Here are some quick tips to stay safe:
Try to avoid crossing standing water. If you have no other alternative, observe other cars driving through the water and try to observe the depth.
The water is higher than six inches, you may want to avoid it as you are likely to lose traction, and definitely avoid it if it is twelve inches or higher. At any rate, always drive slowly and steadily through the water.
Never drive through water around downed electrical power lines. Look for items traveling downstream.
If your vehicle stalls in deep water, while it may require a restart to safely get across the water, keep in mind restarting your vehicle could damage your engine or electrical system.
If your vehicle becomes trapped in rising water, immediately abandoned the vehicle for and head higher ground.
After you have driven through the water, maintain a slow speed, and test your brakes to make sure they are working before you increase speed.
If your brakes are wet and not stopping your vehicle, slightly depress the brakes while continuing to press the accelerator simultaneously, as this will help to dry them out.
What to do if you are in a weather-related accident
Besides the risk of flooding, the heavy rain reduces traction and makes roadways slippery, greatly increasing your chance for an accident.
For this reason, you need to be prepared in advance. Keep a list of emergency numbers readily available in your glovebox or on your smart phone, preferably both.
Have the number for a tow truck in your area, even if you already belong to a roadside assistance programs such as the auto club. You want to have a backup tow because sometimes these services may not always be available or have long wait times.
The other thing you need is to be prepared by choosing an accident attorney in advance. Do a search for “your area auto accident lawyer” and have someone you feel comfortable calling already selected.
You may be hurt in an auto accident and unable to fully research someone after you’ve already been injured. For this reason, it makes sense to do your research in advance and have phone numbers to one or more attorneys you can call.