As if navigating through a severe thunderstorm behind the wheel isn't hair-raising enough, driving in a flash flood might be worse.
Although flash floods can occur with big storms, they can also be the result of rapid snowmelt or runoff from storms far away. These tips can help you avoid the dangers they pose, including auto body damage and life-threatening circumstances:
- Pay attention to road signs. Some areas prone to flooding have permanent warning signs that state "Do Not Enter When Flooded." Assume that if you can't see the road beneath the water that the road is too dangerous to cross.
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- Arizona passed a law called the "Stupid Motorist Law" that carries a fine and recovers some of the cost of the rescue from a driver who deliberately enters a flooded roadway. The purpose of the law is not to generate revenues, but rather to assure the safety of the public.
- Listen to the radio or use weather apps for your phone to listen for flood warnings. Flash floods can occur downstream, particularly in hilly or mountainous areas, even when the weather is sunny in your immediate environment.
- Turn around or park instead of driving in a flash flood, especially through a questionable part of the road. Swift moving water has tremendous power, and your vehicle may be swept away by the strength of the current.
- The water may appear shallow enough to cross, but often, it's too murky to see any potholes or road washouts. If your car gets stuck, you may have to exit the vehicle, especially if the water continues to rise. Fast-moving water takes tremendous skill to navigate on foot.
- Don't rely on the vehicles in front of you who make it across as an indicator that you will. Your car may sit lower and might stall. Walking to higher ground can be as dangerous as driving in a flash flood since the water can carry dangerous debris that can hurt you.
The bottom line: driving in a flash flood is dangerous and should be avoided. If you suffer auto body damage due to hazardous weather conditions, or for other collision needs, contact Gerber Collision & Glass.