Tips for Driving Before & After a Storm

You should avoid flooded roads during and after a storm.


More than half of flood-related drowning are due to people driving into floodwaters, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). You should avoid flooded roads during and after the storm. Just six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you encounter flood waters on a roadway remember Turn around Don’t Drown.

Rain and wet roads cause more car accidents and injuries than other weather conditions. A study based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement (73%) and when it rains (46%).

The following precautions may help you to evacuate before & after the storm:

■  Plan an evacuation route – since flooding in the area can quickly make roads impassable; determine the best route away from danger during a flood event.

■  Check federal, state and local websites for current road and weather conditions. State Transportation Websites & National Weather Service. 

■  Pack an auto emergency kit. Include at a minimum: clean drinking water, several days’ supply of non-perishable food, a first aid kit, well charged cellphone and charging source, flashlight with spare batteries, personal hygiene supplies, battery powered radio.

■  Notify family members or  friends of your intended route and expected time of arrival.

■  Don’t drive through fast-moving water; you and your vehicle could easily be swept away.

■  Don’t drive through water unless if you know it’s not too deep.

■  Once you determine it’s not too deep remember to:

    □ Drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a wake or wave.

    □  Driving fast through standing water can damage the engine.

    □  If the steering does become unresponsive ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

    □  Allow oncoming traffic to pass first. 

    □ Test your brakes as soon as you can after leaving the water.


Tips to consider once on the road:

Do not use cruise control in the rain. Using cruise control in the  rain or even in snow or on ice is dangerous because if your vehicle hydroplanes, it can make it worse by trying to keep your vehicle going at a constant speed.

■  Adjust your speed to the conditions.

■  Double the distance you leave between your car and the car in front of you, as stopping distances are increased by wet roads.

■  Watch out for standing water, avoid it if you can.

■  If steering becomes unresponsive due to the rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

■  If you experience hydroplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the throttle until the tires regain their grip.

■  Turn on your headlights when visibility is reduced and when using windshield wipers.

■  Use of fog lights is helpful, but you must switch them off when visibility improves.


Download Resource





State Auto makes no representations or guarantee as to the correctness or sufficiency of any information contained herein, nor guarantees results based upon use of this information. State Auto does not warrant that reliance upon this document will prevent accident and losses, or satisfy federal, state or local codes, ordinances and regulations. The reader assumes entire risk as to use of this information.

Getting a ride - whether it's with a friend, a taxi or a ride-sharing service - sometimes means...