Though they are not a common occurrence, flash floods are dangerous enough to warrant your attention.
The overall mindset shift you should make in these conditions is towards safe and defensive driving, as doing so will decrease your accident odds significantly. Here are some specific flash flood driving tips.
Try Not to Drive at All
If you notice flooding starting occur while at home, do your best to stay there. We understand that some trips are necessary, but many of them are not. Activities like trips to the grocery store, going clothing shopping, or getting a cup of coffee likely does not warrant you driving at a dangerous time.
Look Out For Barricades
One thing that local workers will do is create barricades in areas that you cannot drive in. The most common reason why is that the water is too deep, and any car that drives through it is at risk of stalling. This event will almost always lead to severe vehicle damage, and occasionally causes injuries.
Overestimate Water Depth
At one point in your drive, you might come to a street and be unsure of how deep the water is. If it is shallow enough, you’ll be able to cruise right through. On the other hand, water that is too deep could lead to property damage and injury. For this reason, you should always overestimate water depth and take an alternate route to your destination if it is too high.
Increase Your Following Distance
When the roads are dry, you can hit your brakes and stop relatively quickly. That changes in wet conditions. The reason is the lack of friction between your tires and the road below them. Instead of coming to a halt in a second or two, it could take double or triple that time. What you can do to mitigate this effect is give yourself more room to stop. This can be achieved by increasing your following distance when driving behind other cars.
Turn Your Wipers and Headlights On
Your car comes with a variety of safety features that can help you through almost any conditions. Two of them that help with rain are windshield wipers and headlights. The former will make your vision clearer, which in turn gives you better reaction time. The latter increases your chances of seeing other drivers and their ability to see you.
Though paying attention to the road is always crucial, it is especially so when conditions are suboptimal. Such is the case in a flash flood, as every car around you becomes more dangerous in deep water. As a result, you must commit to resisting distractions, the most prevalent being your cell phone.
When it comes to flash floods, the safest option of all is staying off of the roads, though following the safety tips above will suffice if you absolutely need to drive somewhere. Unfortunately, you can do everything right and still have another driver hit you. If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation :: (314) 361-4242. Our experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you understand what legal compensation you may be entitled to.