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Learn How To Drive Safely in a Flood From Your Austin Car Accident Lawyer

by lauraramos | November 1st, 2022 | Car Accident Guides, Driving tips

Living in Texas means living with some unpredictable weather. While we tend to enjoy a nice climate here in Austin, we still get some intense rains and plenty of flooding during the heaviest storms. Worse still, some low-lying areas also experience flash flooding, which can trap even the safest of drivers.

If you find yourself driving during a flood, the best thing to do is stop on high ground and wait it out. If that isn’t possible, you’ll need to take extra care to drive extra safely to keep yourself and your passengers safe.

Learn more from your car accident attorney in Austin about what you should do during a torrential rain and flood.

The Dangers of Flooding

Even experienced and otherwise safe drivers may underestimate the power of a flood. Moving water can easily sweep your car away; less than a foot will make most cars float. Even large vehicles can lose traction with the road, which can quickly lead to a serious accident.

Even for relatively still waters, it doesn’t take too much to flood the engines of most cars. If water can reach either your car’s exhaust or intake, your engine will stall. At that point, all you can do is either get back to the dry road or climb on top of your car to wait for rescue.

The cloudy water of a flood also hides debris from your sight. It isn’t unusual for anything that isn’t bolted down to float off and create a hazard. Flooding water can also hide downed power lines, which can be extremely dangerous for all who come in contact with the highly charged water.

Driving Safely During a Flood

The best way to keep safe in a flood is to avoid driving. Waiting for the water to recede may take time, but you’ll be much safer. Finding high ground and staying put is much better than trying to cross.

However, if you need to drive during a flood, here’s how to do so safely.

1. Cross at the Shallowest Spot

It takes less than a foot of water to lose control of your car, even if you’re in an SUV. Only six inches can make most passenger cars stall while less than an inch of water can leave your tires without traction. Play it safe and only attempt to drive if water is barely covering the road. This also means you should never try to cross in the dark; if you can’t see clearly, you can’t tell if it’s safe.

2. Cross One Car at a Time

If there are other cars trying to cross a flooded section, the water they push out of the way can flood your engine or make your tires lose traction. A single file line of cars will be able to cross more safely for everyone. If this isn’t happening on your road, turn around rather than risk it. Large and heavy vehicles will also be harder to control, so give them extra space to avoid needing a truck accident lawyer in Austin.

3. Drive Slowly and in a Low Gear

Much like driving in the rain, you’ll need to drive slowly during a flood. Going too fast is a great way to hydroplane off the road and straight into the water, another vehicle, or another fixed object. Go slowly to keep control of your vehicle. If you have a manual car, you should also use a low gear to help protect the engine and transmission. If your car is automatic, drive slowly enough to stay in first or second gear.

4. Dry Your Brakes ASAP

Wet brakes will have less traction and, therefore, less stopping power. Once you’re safely on a dry patch of road, take the time to dry your brakes. All you need to do is drive slowly while applying just a bit of braking force.

Ramos James Law, PLLC, Is Here for You

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, good legal help can get you back on your feet. Ramos James Law, PLLC, has the experienced Austin car accident lawyers you need to help you get the compensation your case deserves.

We even handle cases with commercial vehicles, so you don’t need to find a separate Austin truck accident lawyer. If you’re not sure if it’s worth the trouble, we offer a free consultation so you’ll know the best course of action.

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