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With the recent heavy rain storms pelting Southwest Florida, many area roadways are flooded, covered by sizeable ponds of standing water. With the potential for causing a serious auto accident, driving on flooded roadways can be a dangerous endeavor.

So many areas of Lee and Charlotte Counties are low-lying ground, and the tremendous amount of rain received in the last few days alone are more than enough to cause water to remain on the streets. With so much heavy rain, the ground is saturated and the runoff has nowhere to go.

When a driver comes up op on an area of standing water, there’s really no way to know just how deep it may be. Unless you’re driving a big truck or some other type of vehicle that is high off the ground, the car accident attorneys at Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro & Noone remind you to err on the side of caution.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), provides some things to consider as we head out to navigate our way around what may be some potentially dangerous flooded roads:

  • If the roadway is barricaded, do NOT try to sneak through. The barricades are there for a reason, and thinking your car can make it through will most likely end up in disaster.
  • If you see standing water and there is a safe way to avoid it, use it. A car can be swept away in as little as 12-inches of water.
  • Driving through a section of road covered by standing water can cause water to enter your car’s engine compartment, causing your car to stall, leaving you stranded on the road in a small lake.
  • If your car stalls in the middle of standing water, be aware that trying to restart your engine may cause serious damage to the motor.
  • Watch the other cars around you to see if they can make it through the standing water. You can judge the depth of the water by looking at their tires as they attempt to navigate through the water.
  • Your brakes will become wet when you drive through standing water. This will affect their stopping capabilities, so be sure to apply light pressure to the brake pedal to dry out your braking system parts after you are safely past the standing water.
  • Driving through a large area of standing water at too high a rate of speed can cause your car’s tires to hydroplane, or actually leave the roadway and float across the water. This can be extremely dangerous – never race through standing water, thinking the faster, the better. Slow and steady is the rule here.

So unless you have a monster truck, keep alert for flooded roads to avoid an accident. Our saturated ground and unsafe driving habits could result in a serious crash.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Gerus via: imager.io, cc