Palm Beach, FL – The actual hurricane is not what you need to worry about; more people die in accidents once a hurricane is over.
Before you run out to start cleaning up the mess Hurricane Irma left behind, you may want to wait a minute. Reports of storm surge, flooded streets, and traffic signs floating down the street are telltale signs that it’s not safe to go outside. But what about the most dangerous part of the storm: once it’s over?
According to a report by the director of the National Hurricane Center, Edward N. Rappaport, Atlantic tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes have killed almost 1,900 people in the United States from 2000 to 2014. Most would assume the fatalities were a result of accidents during the hurricane, i.e. flooding or wind; however, over half the deaths were caused by “indirect” factors, think fatal accidents during cleanup.
The National Weather Service defines direct deaths from hurricanes as fatal accidents that occur as a result of storm surge, flooding, and rip currents. Fatal accidents not caused by the weather are considered indirect deaths. The Washington Post reports that indirect deaths far outnumbered direct deaths for 70 percent of the past 10 hurricanes.
In fact, a study done by the Sun Sentinel discovered that debris cleanup accounted for a quarter of the 201 deaths reported during the 2004-2005 hurricane season. Some of the indirect deaths were caused by heart attacks from over-exertion, and falling off ladders, roofs, and trees while cleaning up after the hurricane.
But it doesn’t end there; records show that people who left storm shelters immediately after a hurricane passed oftentimes found themselves in a fatal accident. In total, there were 964 indirect deaths from the top 10 deadliest storms since 2000. Of those indirect deaths, 56 were from fatal car accidents, 32 were from accidents involving trees, 31 were from accidents in unlit stairwells, 27 were from electrocution, and 20 were from accidents with open flames.
Some storms cause different types of fatal accidents. In particular, 318 people died from cardiovascular ailments during Hurricane Katrina. Moreover, 15 of the 82 indirect deaths during Hurricane Sandy were because people kept generators in enclosed spaces, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning.
Car Accidents in Florida During Hurricane Season
Hurricane season goes until November 30th this year, which means there may be plenty more storms heading our way. If you aren’t careful, hurricane-related car accidents can keep Florida accident lawyers busy all the way until 2018’s hurricane season.
Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have predicted that the Florida will continue to see plenty of storm activity throughout the rest of the 2017 hurricane season.
How to Avoid Hurricane-Related Car Accidents in Florida
While the best way to avoid getting into a hurricane-related car accident is to stay inside at a safe location, you should still know how to avoid getting into a hurricane-related car accident:
- Avoid driving over highway overpasses and bridges as these are most likely to suffer wind damage.
- Do not drive through standing water.
- Drive slowly and take your time; remember, getting to your destination safely is more important than getting there before everyone else.
- Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel and have your headlights on at all times.
Accident Attorneys in Palm Beach
Remember, if something does go wrong and you end up in a hurricane-related car accident, USAttorneys.com is here to help. Our experienced Florida accident lawyers will analyze your case in order to decide what the best course of actions is so you can recover the damages you are entitled to.