“Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”

flood safetyFlorida is home to many beautiful bodies of water, including sparkling oceans and idyllic rivers. Living close to the water means a lovely view and plenty of opportunities for fun boating activities. But when bad weather hits, proximity to the water can mean a greater chance of flooding. During hurricane season in particular, flooding can become a serious issue. From 1978 to 2001, flooding in Florida resulted in a loss of $1,479,585,524.19, and lead to loss of life as a result of drowning, electrocution, or structural collapses. Driving during a flood is particularly dangerous – nearly half of all flood deaths occur when people try to drive through a flooded area.

It is very important to be aware of the dangers of driving during a flood. Many people think that a large vehicle, such as a truck or SUV, will be able to drive through floodwater. However, any vehicle, no matter the size, can be swept away by two feet of water. In some cases, floodwaters will overturn the vehicle, trapping occupants inside.

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”

If you have to drive, or are driving when flooding begins, take extra precautions. Pay attention to any barriers in the road. If a sign says turn around, obey it.  Avoid driving into an underpass, as they can rapidly fill with water. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the road still exists under the water, or that the roadbed isn’t damaged. If this is the case, the road could collapse under the weight of a car. Avoid driving in water near downed electrical or power lines. Electrical currents can pass easily through water, and contact with them could lead to electrocution.

Most importantly, if you cannot see the bottom of the flooded section, do not try to cross. The water may be deeper than it seems, and only a few feet of water, if moving swiftly enough, can carry away a person or vehicle. Drive slowly and cautiously through the water.

If you can, avoid driving during a flood at all, and if you encounter water-covered roads, follow the advice of the Department of Homeland Security and “turn around, don’t drown!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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