Last week, Hurricane Ida dumped historic rainfall in New York after trekking northward across the country. For many, it left a wake of disaster and destruction that few had ever encountered before. Today, car accident lawyers are dealing with the aftermath as standing floodwaters create scenarios for serious car accidents for residents.
While most of us understand the need to stay off the roads during periods of bad weather, Hurricane Ida has rendered parts of the city unnavigable and has required careful movement about the area for those who need it. Unfortunately, few of us have the experience of navigating flooded streets and roadways. This has required even more diligence. Unfortunately, there are always careless and negligent drivers on the road who make it even more precarious to navigate the city and cause needless accidents and injuries.
Flood Water Safety
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, the majority of all weather-related accidents occur during rainfall and on wet pavement. These accidents lead to over 9,000 deaths and 900,000 injuries each year. Rain and wet pavement reduce maneuverability, tire traction, and driver visibility and require driver diligence and reduced speed. Add flood water to the already dangerous driving conditions that were caused by Hurricane Ida, and it is no wonder that driving in parts of the city and adjacent areas where flooding has occurred is particularly hazardous.
As we have seen in other areas during Ida, the force and power of water can be seriously underestimated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that over half of flood-related drownings occur when the car has driven into dangerous floodwater.
Even on city streets where inland flooding has occurred, particularly after a weather occurrence such as Ida, flood water presents a significant danger to drivers. According to the National Weather Service, “it is never safe to drive or walk into floodwaters.” But, for many, driving is still a necessity to navigate the city, particularly with the impact Ida has had on public transportation.
How Flooding and Standing Water Affects Roadway Safety
When navigating streets with standing water, it is important for drivers to consider how water can affect their safety and those around them. Consider these important facts when driving in areas with standing water:
- Two feet of water is enough to carry the largest truck or SUV away, or at the very least, flood and stall them.
- Twelve inches of water is enough to flood or stall most passenger vehicles.
- Six inches of standing water is enough to cause vehicle traction problems, which can lead to sliding and hydroplaning.
- When this happens, the driver has no control over braking or steering the car, leading to serious accidents and potential injuries.
In areas of standing water, it is hard to know the depth of the water or the conditions underneath. Consequently, navigating the conditions on our roads right now demands driver care and diligence. Unfortunately, not all drivers will navigate with caution.
Call an Experienced New York City Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by driver negligence during this time, it’s critical to get the advice and guidance of an experienced New York car accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call us at (212) 843-0907 or contact us online at The Law Office of David S. Leigh to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your accident and understand your rights.