LAS VEGAS, Nevada. Florida has been struck by Irma, leaving millions without power and entire communities flooded. Hurricane Harvey dropped record amounts of precipitation in Texas, leaving many neighborhoods in Houston devastated. The human toll of these storms is immense. Yet, the risk doesn’t stop after the storm. Driving in flooded streets and on streets covered with debris can be incredibly dangerous. While you should never drive during a hurricane or a major weather event, what are some ways you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe after the storm passes?
- Avoid driving through deep standing water. Driving through standing water can damage your engine. If your car is underwater, you should not try to turn it on. According to Consumer Reports, turning on a car stranded in deep water can result in serious damage to your engine.
- Don’t assume that plant debris is safe. Plant debris could be mixed up with other debris that can be bad for your tires. Nails, metal, and other objects could be hidden under downed trees. And, if you’re driving over a downed tree that has hit a power line, the lines could potentially still be live, putting you and your loved ones at risk of serious electrocution.
- Give yourself room to stop. Wet brakes mean that you may need more time to stop. If you’ve driven through a puddle, test your brakes before picking up speed.
- Carry an emergency kit. Have an extra phone charger in your car and bring your phone with you fully charged. Pack water, snacks, and a first-aid kit,
- Don’t assume water isn’t deep. Flooding can transform even a familiar neighborhood. According to News Press, as little as 12 inches of water can sweep a car away. A deep puddle can lead you to stall, potentially stranding you. If cars are not driving through a puddle, there is probably good reason why. Gauge how deep the water is by looking at how high the water goes on car tires. If the water is a foot deep, don’t drive through it.
- Be aware of compromised structures. Never drive under a fallen tree. The tree can collapse at any moment, or it may be touching a live power line. Be aware that walls and bridges may be compromised after a storm. If a road is closed, obey law enforcement and local closures. Curfews and closures are put in place to keep people safe and to give safety crews time to assess damage.
Be aware of your surroundings when driving after a storm. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident while driving after a storm, know your rights. The truck accident lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group in Chicago can protect your rights and help you seek the compensation you may deserve. You may be entitled to receive compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages if you’ve been hurt after a storm. Visit https://www.dinizululawgroup.com to learn more.