As spring moves through central Texas, the chance for strong thunderstorms with plentiful rainfall increases. With an increase in the likelihood of powerful storms comes an increase in the chances of serious automobile mishaps. This risk can be lowered if drivers are aware of some common sense tips for dealing with rain soaked roads.
Some background statistics
According to the National Weather Service, more than half of deaths caused by flooding happen in flooded vehicles. A mere six inches of water on the road can stall a car or cause the driver to lose control. A water depth of 18 to 24 inches on the roadway can stall large vehicles and sweep them off the road.
Safety tips for wet weather
The following tips come from the American Automobile Association in Texas.
- Don’t attempt to drive on a road covered in water; turn around and find another route.
- If water is infiltrating the vehicle, get out and move to safer, higher ground.
- Don’t use cruise control; it hampers traction on wet roads.
- Leave more distance behind the car ahead of you.
- Use a slower speed; some tires lose contact with the road and begin to hydroplane at speeds near 35 mph.
- If the vehicle begins to skid or lose traction, do not slam on the breaks. Instead, steer into any skid to regain control of the vehicle.
The myth of bridge protection
When severe weather threatens, many people think that stopping under an overpass will protect them. If a tornado or thunderstorm occurs, the overpass will not offer protection from high winds or flying debris.
Severe weather can increase the likelihood of being involved in a serious accident. Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one to an accident that occurred in severe weather may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for an evaluation of the facts of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.