Water On The Road? Turn Around, Don’t Drown

With heavy rains and strong winds moving through portions of Texas this week, it’s a good time to remind drivers to avoid low water crossings and driving on flooded roadways.

Turn Around Don’t Drown, or TADD, is a NOAA National Weather Service campaign to warn people of the hazards of walking or driving vehicles through flood waters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over half of all flood- related deaths occur when a vehicle is driving into hazardous flood water.   Second on the list are flood-related deaths due to walking in or around flood waters.

Why?  The main reason is people are unaware of the force and power of flowing water.

Many flood-related injuries and deaths could be avoided if drivers would turn around and choose a different route when they see water across a road. When there’s water running across a road, drivers should always turn around and choose a different route. These are the facts:

  • Six inches of water can cause tires to lose traction and begin to slide.
  • Twelve inches of water can float many cars. Two feet of rushing water will carry off pick-up trucks, SUVs and most other vehicles.
  • Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.
  • In flash floods, waters rise so rapidly they may be far deeper by the time you are halfway across, trapping you in your vehicle.
  • Flash floods are especially treacherous at night when it is very difficult to see how deep waters may be or how fast water is rising.
  • Floodwater weakens roadbeds. Drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening weather conditions.
  • Lives can be saved every year if Texas drivers follow this one rule: when there’s water on the road, turn around, don’t drown.

For more information, visit the NOAA National Weather Service’s Turn Around, Don’t Drown webpage.

Articles Water Street Flooding 03-08-16