Flash floods can approach rapidly and unexpectedly, especially in tropical climates like ours and during hurricane season. You might not always receive a warning that a flash flood is approaching.
Jennifer Silvey, emergency preparedness coordinator at UF Health Jacksonville, offers safe driving tips for driving in heavy thunderstorms or flash floods.
What should I do if I’m already on the road in a thunderstorm?
- Avoid areas that are already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Reduce your speed, turn on your low beams and windshield wipers and increase your distance between other vehicles.
How can I avoid hydroplaning?
- Keep your tires properly inflated
- Rotate and replace tires when necessary
- Slow down when roads are wet – the faster you drive, the harder it is for your tires to scatter the water
- Stay away from puddles and standing water
- Avoid driving in outer lanes where water tends to accumulate
- Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you
- Turn off cruise control
- Drive in a lower gear
- Avoid hard braking – slow your speed and keep both hands on the steering wheel
- Try not to make sharp or quick turns
If you see a flooded area ahead, always remember to turn around and don’t drown!