The historic, torrential rain that has battered Texas over the last couple of months has caused havoc on our state’s roads and highways. Accident statistics are not immediately available for this time period, but this author’s experience has been such that there is no doubt that the frequency of collisions skyrockets during these storms. Of course, any bad weather generally causes an increase in accidents, but the strength and intensity of these storms are unlike anything we have seen in this state in a long time. Flooded highways and huge swaths of land sitting underwater are a common sight, and the nasty weather shows no signs of slowing as El Niño continues to pound North America.
It is important, then, to refresh ourselves on the dangers of driving in heavy rain and the measures we as drivers can take to minimize the risk of an accident. Many people do not think of rain as presenting the same hazards as snow or ice on the road, but a water-covered road can be almost, if not equally, as dangerous as one that is iced over. When driving in storms like those that have hit in the last couple of months, visibility is drastically reduced, especially at high speeds. Just a foot of water can float a vehicle, while as little as a couple of inches of water can cause a loss of control, again especially at high speeds. Hydroplaning is very dangerous, and again speaking from personal experience, it can happen with no warning whatsoever.
In light of the flooding that has plagued the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it is important for drivers to know how to stay safe in intense rainstorms. Increased awareness and conservative driving can go a long way to reducing your chances of a collision. When driving around Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, and surrounding areas that have been flooded, take the advice of the National Weather Service and “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” Ford has released a helpful video that sums up a number of great tips and guidelines for driving in heavy rain. Speaking once more from experience, this author’s new 2015 Ford Focus was bought as a result of an accident in heavy rain. If your vehicle gets damaged as a result of this monumental rainy season, visit Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford in Garland to shop for a new Ford car or truck!