CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 12, 2018) – As Hurricane Florence nears the Carolinas, AAA Carolinas is warning of the dangers of driving on flooded roads and promoting safety tips. Though it is projected to devastatingly impact the coastline, areas across North and South Carolina are expected to get heavy rainfall and thus be in danger of severe flooding.
“Water is one of the most deadly components of major storms and is something that many people do not take seriously,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “Motorists feel safe in their vehicles against rainwater but they shouldn’t. Just a few inches of water can turn your vehicle into a boat, and could put your life at great risk.”
AAA urges motorists to adhere to the driving tips below if they encounter rising water on the roads:
· Visibility While Driving: If you can’t see the edges of the road or other vehicles at a safe distance while driving during wet weather, pull off the road as far as you can and wait for the rain to ease up. Make sure to turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
· Slow Down and Leave Room: Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. It is important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them.
· Avoid Cruise Control: Never use cruise control in wet conditions. The chances of losing control of your vehicle greatly increase.
· Responding to a Skid: Even the most careful drivers can experience skids. If a driver feels their car is about to skid, don’t panic and follow these basic steps.
o Continue to look and steer in the direction the driver wants the car to go
o Avoid slamming on the brakes to maintain control.
· Avoid Standing Water and Flooded Roads at All Times: There is no way to tell how deep standing water is on a flooded road and driving through it can be very dangerous. Flooded roads can cause a vehicle to stall and result in severe damage to the vehicle from:
o Flooding the engine
o Warping brake rotors
o Loss of power steering
o Short in electrical components
· If Your Vehicle Stalls in a Flooded Area:
o DO NOT remain in the car.
o If your vehicle shuts down while in standing water, do not try to restart it. That could cause more water to enter the engine and could cost thousands to repair.
o Abandon your vehicle as soon as possible and seek higher ground. Flood waters can elevate quickly, sweeping away the vehicle and its occupants.
Please continue to adhere to the warnings and requests of safety officials. We urge you to take Hurricane Florence seriously and take the necessary precautions.
**AAA Carolinas has created a site with all of its safety information, the latest evacuation updates and storm information in one place. Please direct people to carolinas.aaa.com/emergency for hurricane information.