Winter often brings wet and flooded roads in Georgia. These conditions are more dangerous than many drivers realize.

Few drivers are aware how little surface water it requires to lose control of a car or a truck. Six inches of water will lead to a loss of traction and may cause your vehicle to slide. Although you may not be swept away, you could easily lose control of your vehicle and crash.

A flood of 12 inches can cause most cars to float, meaning you cannot steer. Your engine will usually be flooded out and stop working and your car could be carried down the road or into a watercourse where you run the risk of drowning.

At a depth of two feet, even larger vehicles like SUVs and pickups can be carried away by the flow. When your engine floods, it can hydrolock. This means the electric components cease working and you can no longer driver out of danger. If your car fails you should get out as soon as possible and abandon the vehicle.

The sensible thing is to avoid flooded roads, particularly when it’s not clear how deep the flood is. If you must drive in torrential rain stick to major highways like interstates with better drainage. Don’t head into remote rural areas during floods and avoid underpasses. If you see barricades blocking off a flooded section of the road ahead of you don’t try to drive around them. Flooded streets can hide other hazards like power lines or downed trees.

Driving on Wet and Flooded Roads in Georgia? Check Forecasts

You should read weather forecasts before setting out and avoid driving in storms or heavy rain events where possible.

In any wet weather, you should drive with care and heed wet weather driving tips.

Reduce speed to minimize the risk of hydroplaning. This occurs when you lose your grip on the road because of a layer of water. Don’t use cruise control on wet weather. The chances of losing control are elevated. Split seconds can be the difference between life and death on wet roads.

Another important wet weather driving tip that few motorists heed is to keep the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Typical stopping distances are doubled in wet weather and multiplied by as much as 10 in icy and snowy conditions.

Whenever bad weather hits the Metro Atlanta area, we see a massive surge in accidents. Many people underestimate the dangers of water on the road and fail to take adequate precautions. Wet and flooded roads in Georgia should be treated with respect.

If you are injured due to the actions of another driver who has not adapted his or her driving to the weather conditions, please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.