Safety tips for driving during a flood or major storm

Even though driving safely and defensively should always be a priority while on the road, it becomes especially important when encountering inclement weather. Though you may try to drive cautiously when out in less-than-ideal conditions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other drivers you will encounter will do the same.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Tampa that occurred during unsafe weather conditions, contact an experienced Tampa car accident attorney at Darrigo & Diaz to look through the specifics of your case and provide you with personalized advice about how to best pursue compensation for your pain and suffering.

While the tips below can help you avoid an accident in some severe weather situations, you may still find yourself in an accident with a negligent driver. That’s where we can come in to assist you with proving liability and seeking the maximum possible amount for all of your losses.

Driving Safely in Flooding or Major Storms

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), flooding is regularly the second deadliest weather event. Knowing what to do in case of a flood is important for all drivers as flooding can occur spontaneously during severe weather outbreaks. If it is necessary that you’re on the road during extreme weather, it is especially important to stay vigilant when driving in these weather conditions.

With this in mind, here are some safety tips to help you avoid the pain, heartache, and damage caused by being involved in a weather-related accident in your vehicle:

1. Drive Defensively

When driving in inclement weather, drive with caution. If there is an increased risk, you should slow down, making sure not to drive faster than the speed limit allows. Decreasing your speed can help you avoid hitting other cars, as well as any other debris that may be on the roads.

Driving slowly will also help lower your risk of hydroplaning. Tires can lose contact with a wet road at only 35 miles per hour.

2. Regularly Maintain Windshield Wipers

Replacing your wipers once a year will ensure that they will be able to function correctly in the event of heavy rains. This cheap and easy routine maintenance can help keep you and your family safe on the road.

3. Turn Around, Don’t Drown

If you are driving and you encounter a road covered with water, turn around and try to find an alternate route. Even if the water looks shallow and you feel that your car could make it across, it is best to avoid the road. The water could be covering the fact that the road was washed away, making traversing across that road even more treacherous. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), as little as six inches of water can cause a car to stall; and only about one foot of water is enough to sweep smaller vehicles from the road.

4. If Your Vehicle Takes on Water, Leave

If you are in a situation where your car starts taking on water, it is important that you leave the vehicle immediately and seek shelter on higher ground. There is a good chance that your car could be swept from the road and you could become trapped. The NWS reports that half of all flooding deaths each year occur in vehicles.

5. Be Vigilant at Intersections

During severe storms, it is not unlikely that the power may go out, affecting traffic lights. When approaching an intersection, do not assume that it is functioning in the way that it regularly would. Watch for other cars and emergency vehicles that may travel through the intersection at high speeds.

6. Clear Your Windows

If your windows fog up, they can greatly impact your ability to see, especially during bad weather, when it is already more difficult than normal to observe your surroundings. If you notice your windows starting to fog up, make sure to turn on your vehicle’s defrost system, as well as use your windshield wipers in order to ensure that you have the best visibility possible for the conditions.

7. Brake Lightly, and Brake Early

Braking in a light and gradual manner will help you maintain control of your vehicle when there is water on the road. Suddenly slamming on your brakes can cause your vehicle to skid on the road. Should that happen, it is a good idea to try to steer into the skid.

Because you will want to apply your brakes lightly, it is a good idea to leave more room than you normally would between your car and the car in front of you. This will give you adequate time to slow down and stop, so you can avoid suddenly slamming on your brakes.

8. Prepare for Emergencies

It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your trunk in the event that you are stranded during a weather event. A well-equipped emergency kit will include items such as a flashlight, first aid supplies, warm clothes, and water.

9. Turn on Your Radio

Though you probably won’t want to be distracted when driving in difficult conditions, it is a good idea to turn your radio to a local station. Important safety information may be broadcast on the radio. Tuning in will ensure that you have the latest updates on closed roads, the storm’s path, and alternate routes available to you.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Tampa Today

Extreme weather or not, if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contacting an experienced attorney can help you get on the road to recovery knowing that you have someone fighting for you. At Darrigo & Diaz, we have over 20 years of experience fighting for car accident victims.

Being involved in a car accident can result in costly medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and additional pain and suffering. No one should have to face that alone. Call Darrigo & Diaz today to schedule your no-obligation consultation. During your free consultation, one of our experienced lawyers will listen to the particulars of your case and provide you with personalized advice about we can assist you with your claim. We will help you come up with a plan in order to maximize your chances of receiving the most compensation available to you.

Contact us anytime to schedule your free case review by calling (813) 774-3341 or finding us online.

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