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Hurricane season is well underway and we have already seen our fair share of major storms along the east coast as of late. Though it’s common knowledge that hurricanes themselves are very dangerous, many often forget the threats of floodwaters on roads during and after the storm. While roads may seem safe and easy to drive on during these horrific weather conditions, oftentimes they are not and can lead drivers to face serious injury or even death.
According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Weather Service (NWS), nearly 100 people die in flooding-related incidents each year. Over half of flood-related drowning accidents occur when someone drives into hazardous water.
If you do find yourself driving and encounter standing water on the road, do not drive through it if it looks to be six-inches or deeper. This is because water that’s even just 12 inches deep can actually move a small vehicle, and two-feet of raging water can dislodge and carry most vehicles. If you happen to find yourself driving at night during flooding, be especially cautious, as it is harder to visualize the flood dangers around you.
Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing at Consumer Reports has determined that driving into flooded roads can lead to many different troublesome situations. He asserted that, “Some drivers can lose control after hitting a large water puddle and may hit a tree or become stuck, some may find their car swept away, and some get stuck when the car’s engine sucks in water and stalls.” Fisher goes on to say, “All of these situations can leave drivers—and possibly their families—at risk of drowning if the water continues to rise.”
Engaging in unsafe behavior during flooding can even put others in danger, such as emergency workers and/or Good Samaritans who just want to help. Stephen Hegarty of the Tampa, Florida Police Department says in his experience, “people just think they’ll make it to the other side, and it’s a lot deeper than they think.” Hegarty goes on to say, “They don’t know if the road has worn away and don’t know what’s under the water. You don’t know if there’s a wire down or debris in the road.” Downed wires in flood waters can lead to electrocution if flooded drivers aren’t careful.
As driving into flood waters can often destroy or total most automobiles, owners without proper insurance can find themselves with a totaled vehicle that they have to replace out-of-pocket.
You may not be certain how much you will need to cover if your vehicle is damaged resulting from a hurricane or other flood, or if an insurance company will fully compensate you. The experienced Houston auto accident lawyers at Adame Garza LLP can analyze the details of your situation and determine how much you may be entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck, our team of experienced attorneys can put your mind at ease. We have helped hundreds of car accident victims across Texas, and we can guide you through every step of seeking compensation for your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.