Our area of the country is not known for having a lot of rain, and most roads in Nevada have not taken rainfall into consideration. That is all the more reason that a sudden heavy downpour can lead to flooding. Flash floods can be devastating on the roadway, and can lead to a lot of accidents. As little as two feet can sweep your car away. This makes your car a dangerous place to be during a Nevada flash flood.
Tips for Driving Safely During Flash Floods
Prepare yourself for the possibility of a southern Nevada flash flood, and you will be better able to keep yourself and your passengers safe if waters rise suddenly. Learn the safety tips and tricks now, and you will be ready to deal with all the bad conditions that can come from heavy rain. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind if you find yourself on the road during a Nevada flash flood.
This is always important while you drive, and it is especially crucial during heavy rains and flooding. When the roads are full of water, you do not have as much margin for error. Make sure you keep all distractions to a minimum, including loud music, conversations, and cell phones. It can be tempting to take pictures or videos of the unusual weather, but it is not worth the risk. You will likely be able to find other footage of any Nevada flash flood that happens, and you will not have to put yourself in danger for it.
Know When to Abandon Your Car
If your car becomes stuck, and water is rising, you need to get out. It can be hard to open your door if your car is in standing water, so you may have to exit through the window or a sunroof. If you cannot get the window open, try your best to break the glass.
Once you are out of the car, get out of the water as soon as possible. The water is often full of bacteria from sewers, which can make you extremely sick. Even a few inches of rushing water can knock you off your feet, so head for higher ground as quickly as you can.
It can be very stressful to drive during a flash flood, but try to keep a level head. If you become too panicked, you are actually more likely to make a mistake that can lead to an accident. Stay calm, have faith in your abilities, and remember that if you are careful you will be able to find a way out of the flooded areas. Take things slowly and definitely do not speed.
Turn Around If You Have to
No appointment is worth risking your life. The National Weather Service recommends that drivers find another way home if they find themselves approaching a flooded street. It is hard to judge the depth of water in your path, so try to avoid any route with standing water on the road. If you cannot find an alternative route, your best bet might be to wait somewhere safe until the roads clear.
Attempting to drive through a flooded road can make your engine flood. Or, your tires could lose their grip on the road. Either one of these scenarios can lead to you getting stuck. The best thing for your safety is to avoid driving if possible. Absolutely never go around any sort of barricade to get to a road that has been blocked off.
Watch out for Fallen Power Lines
Heavy storms and rushing water can knock power lines over into the road. This could block your path, and the power lines may be sending dangerous electrical currents into the water. Do not make your Nevada flash flood experience even worse by driving into electrically charged water.
Use Your Windshield Wipers and Headlights
This is important for your visibility and the visibility of those around you. Nevada law requires drivers to use their headlights during periods of poor visibility, like when there is heavy rain. However, do not put your hazard lights on unless you have come to a complete stop. Doing this may confuse other drivers, and is illegal in Nevada.
Leave Extra Space Between Yourself and Other Cars
It takes more distance to stop a car when the roads are moist, so you will need to leave more distance than usual between yourself and the next car. Do not tailgate or do anything else that might require you to slam on the brakes. Cars can hydroplane in under an inch of water. This makes it easy to lose control if you brake too hard or turn too quickly.
Do Not Pull Your Car off to the Side of the Road
It can be scary to keep driving during heavy rain, but just pulling onto the side of a road is actually more dangerous. Other drivers might not be able to see you until it is too late. This can lead to serious accidents. If you do not feel safe driving any longer, continue at a reasonable speed until you can get off the road and into a parking lot.
Try to Get Live Updates
Some apps can keep you up to date about current road conditions, but there are limitations. Further, this is only a good option if you have a passenger who can watch the phone for you, because you definitely do not want to be messing with your cellphone during a Nevada flash flood. The radio is a better option for this. If you can safely tune your radio to a station with weather updates, you may be able to avoid dangerous areas. Most local radio stations should be broadcasting weather and roadway information.
Know Your Rights if You Have an Accident
Some people do not know how to drive safely during a flash flood, or do not follow good safety advice. If you find yourself involved in a roadway incident during a flash flood, think about whether it was the fault of another driver’s negligent behavior. If another driver causes an accident by being careless or reckless during a flash flood, they may be liable for the damage or injury they cause. Careless behavior includes speeding, texting while driving, or failure to use headlights and turn signals.
Nevada Flash Flood Attorneys
In a wreck? Need a check? Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys will bring experience, skill, and passion to your case. We even offer free consultations, so there is no fee unless we win your case. Contact us today to let us get to work fighting for you. You can reach us by phone at 844-977-1900. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but we are available 24/7 to take your call. We also have a LiveChat on our website, so you can start getting the answers you need right away. Get in touch with us to see if you might be entitled to a settlement after an incident involving a Southern Nevada flash flood.