California residents are not unfamiliar with storms and other extreme weather events. One of the most dangerous places one can find themselves during such an event is in a vehicle, as flooding and aggressive weather can be a major hazard for drivers. This was the situation that many drivers faced on Highway 99 during New Year’s Day, which forced many vehicles to stop midway through their journeys. Authorities say that similar storms are forthcoming and preparation is key.
The safest option, by far, is to avoid driving during these times overall. However, those who find themselves behind the wheel during severe flooding and storms can and should take precautions, such as:
- Following the “turn around, don’t drown” guidance by avoiding any flooded roads. A foot of water is all it takes for a vehicle to be swept off the road, so it is best to avoid any risks with this level of flooding.
- Immediately following all evacuation orders. When evacuating, it is important to follow traffic barriers and any specific instructions, as these are designed to keep everyone safe.
- Taking self-preservation measures if caught in a vehicle during flooding. This means staying inside the car if there is fast-moving water around and getting on the roof if it begins to leak into the vehicle.
Drivers should also be sure to have a car emergency kit, which includes jumper cables, flares, a blanket, water and a portable cellphone charger. Furthermore, staying aware of weather warnings, evacuation orders and other news is a critical part of preventing negative outcomes. Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions also increases the odds that a driver’s negligence or reckless actions could lead to an accident. Individuals who have been injured in a car accident through no fault of their own can most likely benefit from speaking to an experienced California personal injury lawyer to understand their legal options.