If you are a Florida driver you have no doubt encountered a “gully washer” or a flash flood. All of a sudden you’re driving and the skies open up without showing any sign of stopping. And speaking of stopping you might find it difficult to stop or even navigate the mini lakes that have formed on the road.
Flash flooding is not just a nuisance for Florida drivers but over fifty-percent of all flash flood deaths in the U.S. are the result of motor vehicle accidents, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. In fact, Florida is among the top three states with the most reported losses directly due to flash flooding.
Drivers in Florida can help prevent motor vehicle accidents due to flash floods with just a few tips. The only thing predictable about flash floods is that they come on suddenly and without much warning. The most obvious tip is to avoid driving if you are under a flash flood warning.
Keep an eye on out for standing water and if you can, avoid driving through it as it could be deeper than you imagined and will do serious damage to your vehicle’s engine. Not to mention that you could literally be carried off the road in your vehicle. Barricades, posted hazard signs should always be followed and heeded. Keep a watchful eye out for powerlines that have fallen and steer clear away from them.
Lastly, DO NOT quickly turn your steering wheel in the opposite direction if you feel yourself hydroplaning. This is a common mistake also made while driving on icy or snowy roads and could lead to you losing control of your vehicle and spinning out.
Last but certainly not least, if you find yourself in grave danger leave your vehicle behind and seek higher ground.