The danger isn’t always over when the winds die down. Learn how to drive home safely after a storm.
Driving immediately after a storm could be a bad idea. But there are times when you absolutely must get on the road. When that’s the case, you need to take extra precaution and keep in mind some post-storm driving safety procedures to ensure that you and your family return home safe and sound.
Pack An Emergency Kit
Be prepared for the worst, including the possibility of being stranded on the road. Put a car emergency kit in the boot that includes extras like flashlight, first aid kit, water, warm clothes and blankets.
Drive With Extreme Caution
Road conditions after a damaging storm are wildly unpredictable. Proceed slowly and carefully to avoid driving over storm-blown debris like tree branches, metal, or broken glass that could damage your vehicle. Also be aware of dangers above like low-hanging branches, damaged bridges, and dangling power lines.
Because roads and cars could be damaged, more people are possibly walking on roads, so watch out for pedestrians. Traffic lights may also be out, so take extra precautions at crossroads, obey all road signs, and always give the right-of-way to emergency vehicles.
Don’t Drive Through Floodwaters
Storm surges and torrential rains from a severe storm can cause serious flooding. Never drive through a road with standing or rushing water, even if it doesn’t look that deep. The water depth can be deceiving, and it’s extremely dangerous at even the shallowest of depths:
6 inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or stall
1 foot of water will float many vehicles
2 feet of rushing water will carry away most cars, trucks, and SUVs
Instead, obey all road closure signs and find alternative routes to your destination if you come upon any signs of flooding.
Stay Away From Downed Power Lines
Under no circumstances should you drive over downed power lines. It’s impossible to tell if a power line is electrified or not, even if you don’t see sparks. While the rubber tyres of your car are technically electrical insulators, they’re much too thin to protect you. And even if the downed wire isn’t hot, the cables could get tangled on your tires or in your car’s axle.
If an electrical wire does make contact with your vehicle, follow these safety rules:
Stay in the vehicle and call 911.
If you have to exit the vehicle for safety reasons, never touch the car and the ground at the same time, because the current will pass through your body and into the ground.
Instead, jump clear of the car in one hop.
Take small steps until you are at least 30 feet away from the car.
Tip: Downed power lines that are “dead” can become live again when power to the area is restored. So, if you see any downed power lines, stay away.
Stay Informed And Stay In Touch
Tune your car radio to local stations for weather updates and information on road conditions. If you get a signal, use your smartphone to check for emergency information. Send text messages to friends and relatives to stay informed and to update them on your location.
There could be a time when you can’t avoid driving after a storm. But if you heed these safety tips and follow the rules of the road, you can get to your destination safely.
For total peace of mind, you should think about getting gadget insurance. With Car ’N Stuff from Liberty Insurance, you get affordable car insurance and renters cover, with access to travel and gadget insurance.
Disclosure: This article has been provided by Liberty Insurance, a car insurance provider in Ireland, and is paid for content.