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How Hurricane Ida Flood Waters Can Cause Car Accidents in New York

Last updated on: September 16, 2021

How Hurricane Ida Flood Waters Can Cause Car Accidents in New York

Last week, the people of New York City witnessed a weather phenomenon when Hurricane Ida brought severe rain to the city, requiring hundreds of evacuations and emergency responses. While natural rivers and streams rose around the tri-state area during and after Ida, here in the city, our roads became rivers of their own. New York City car accident lawyers are now witnessing a new accident pattern in many parts of the area: car accidents caused by standing water left from this unprecedented flooding.

In New York, we encounter many different types of traffic issues that can create accidents, but floodwater is not usually one of them. Unfortunately, Hurricane Ida turned streets into lakes and rivers and created flooded areas where accidents are continuing to happen.

How Standing Water on Pavement Can Impact Car Travel

Since last Wednesday, the unprecedented level of precipitation and consequential flooding have created dangerous scenarios for those trying to navigate the city. For those caught on flooded streets or who still need to transgress flooded areas by car, flooding can create unpredictable conditions and be an accident just waiting to happen.

Drivability on flooded streets is compromised at best and deadly at worst, leading to serious accidents. Extra caution is required and drivers need to adjust their behavior and take particular care when driving in flooded areas.

No matter how familiar a driver is with the road, all it takes is a few inches of water to hide the surface of the roadway and potential dips, debris, curbs, and washed-out areas. Even the best tire tread provides little traction in water. Most passenger cars may succumb to flooded exhaust systems with a few inches of water, leaving the vehicle and passengers stuck. Considering how flooding may have affected roadways, traffic flow, and vehicle operation can help avoid serious car accidents and injuries.

Driving On Flooded Streets

While driving on flooded streets should be avoided if at all possible, when it is absolutely necessary, there are some tips to ensure that it is done as safely as possible.

  • Stay away from moving water. Even the largest SUV can be swept away in less than a foot of moving water.
  • Only drive through shallow water. If water is above the center of your tires on roads or puddled water, do not try to drive through it.
  • Drive down the center of a flooded road. Due to the curvature of streets for drainage purposes, water will be most shallow at the center.
  • Drive cautiously and take turns. Single lane driving behind other cars is much safer than speeding around others. The “wake” created by the vehicles in front moves water out of the way for those behind, allowing for better tire traction.
  • Enter and drive slowly. Enter a flooded roadway as slowly as possible and don’t exceed 3-4 mph to reduce the risk of engine flooding.
  • Dry brakes afterward. Brake lightly to dry brakes after moving through standing water to avoid spin-outs.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Getting the advice of a skilled New York City car accident lawyer is critical to ensure that you are fairly compensated after a serious car accident. At K L Sanchez Law Office, we are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation.

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