Last week, Hurricane Ida left New York in a state of emergency, with unprecedented rainfall and flash flooding. And while the city is digging itself out of the disaster left in its wake, flooding and standing water are creating their own unique dangers. New York car accident lawyers are warning of the potential for serious accidents if drivers don’t use caution while navigating the city and surrounding areas.
Hurricane Ida cut a path of destruction throughout the northeast. In New York, many were trapped in basement apartments, subways, and in cars along flooded roads. Although the National Weather Service warned about the potential of “significant and life-threatening flash flooding” and flash flood warnings were issued in New York for the first time in history, most people didn’t fully appreciate what Ida had the potential to do and many in harm’s way didn’t attempt to flee. Now, we are left with serious flooding and the potential for even more damages.
How Flooded Roads Are Dangerous to Drivers
Drivers in New York and other adjacent areas must be extra careful of the potential for harm from deep, standing floodwater left by Hurricane Ida. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Weather Service, over half of all flood-related drownings happen when someone has driven into dangerous water.
People often attempt to go through standing water because they don’t realize how deep it is. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to determine how deep standing water is and what hazards lurk beneath it. Experts suggest that drivers don’t even attempt to navigate standing water and turn their car around if it appears that it may be six inches or deeper.
Driving through standing water can also lead to reduced traction and hydroplaning. Roadway oils get loosened and create slippery surfaces that further reduce tire traction. Hydroplaning, when a vehicle loses traction and skids across the road’s surface, can cause a driver to lose control and not be able to steer to safety.
These are the potential consequences of flooding and standing water that we are currently seeing in and around New York that can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Drivers Must Take Precautions When Navigating Standing Water in New York City
When navigating standing water in and around New York City, precautions should be taken by all drivers. These should include:
- Avoiding standing water if you don’t know how deep it is.
- Driving slowly, leaving room around you for slowing down to avoid a potential accident. Wet roads will increase the distance it takes to stop and the slower you go, the more room you have to stop.
- Avoid using cruise control. When navigating dangerous standing water, a driver should be in full control of every aspect of their driving.
- If you find yourself in a skid, keep looking and steering in the direction you want to go. Panicking, slamming on brakes, or steering to over-correct the turn can cause a driver to lose control, potentially crashing.
As careful as most of us try to be in these circumstances, there will always be others who drive recklessly despite the dangers. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another’s carelessness, contact the experienced New York car accident lawyers at Kucher Law to understand your legal rights to compensation for your injuries. You shouldn’t face this alone. Call us at (929) 274-8000 to schedule a free consultation.