We all know that driving in heavy rain and flood conditions can be dangerous – but did you know that these two factors cause more than a million car accidents in the U.S. every year? Even worse, most flood-related deaths happen when people try to drive through rising water and end up getting swept away.
In order to stay safe when driving in flood conditions, it’s important to first understand the dangers. Heavy rain and flooding can cause greatly reduced visibility, which increases the chances for an accident. Floodwaters can move dangerous obstacles into roadways. Flooding can cause hydroplaning, which can in turn cause you to lose control of your vehicle or be hit by other drivers who have lost control. Moving water can cause your vehicle to be pushed off the road, into other lanes or into bodies of water such as a bayou or lake.
Following are a few tips to help you stay safe if you have to drive during flood conditions or are unexpectedly caught in a flash flood while on the road.
1) Never drive through sections of road that appear to be flooded. The saying “turn around, don’t drown” was invented for a good reason.
2) SLOW DOWN. Driving too fast in flood conditions is extremely dangerous.
3) Do NOT drive around barricades in flooded areas. Turn around and find a detour route.
4) Pay attention to weather forecasts. If there is a possibility of heavy rains or flash floods you should be prepared.
5) If you must drive during flood conditions, check the news for road closures and alternate routes.
While it’s best to stay off the road altogether when flooding is possible, make sure you know how to stay safe if you can’t avoid driving in flood conditions.