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Who’s to blame if you get in a crash during a flood?

When flooding impacts an area, it’s important for drivers to be cautious. Floods can be unpredictable, and drivers who attempt to move too quickly for the conditions or who act recklessly may still be held accountable if they cause a collision.

Recently, Hurricane Ida struck multiple states and caused massive flooding. In Pennsylvania, PennDOT reported multiple collisions, road closures, travel restrictions and delays because of flooding. In fact, PennDOT asked that motorists stay home in the affected areas. This just goes to show how serious flooding can become.

Drivers don’t always know when flooding will hit, and it can catch them off-guard. If you’re traveling during heavy rain, there are some things you can do to avoid a crash.

  1. PennDot suggests turning around

If you are approaching a flooded area, the Department of Transportation suggests turning around rather than attempting to go through the flooded area. Flood waters can cause hydroplaning, damage to your vehicle and more. You may lose control of your acceleration or brakes, as well, which could result in a collision.

  1. Slow down to see better

Slowing down is one of the best things you can do if you’re driving in heavy rain or approaching a flooded area. If you can’t see the lanes on the road, then don’t attempt to pass through a flooded area. Even if you can, look to see if there is an alternative route instead of putting yourself, and potentially others, at risk.

  1. Watch out for debris

Finally, watch out for any debris that might be present. Debris is more likely if there was a heavy rainstorm or if flood water have gathered, so be aware of the potential for trees, branches and other debris in your path. Always pay attention to the road.

If you get into a crash, the driver who caused the car crash will likely still be liable even if flooding played a role in the crash. This is why it’s smart to be cautious if you have to drive and to avoid driving if possible when flooding is likely due to a heavy storm or other weather event.

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