Whether you’ve been anticipating hurricane season for months or have been caught off guard, it’s important you know how to prepare for and handle the intense storms once they arrive. We’ve gathered some of the top driving safety tips to help you navigate through the intense conditions.
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, stay on top of local weather reports and have a plan of action in case you need to evacuate. It might be a nuisance to keep your gas tank full and an emergency kit (fresh water, flashlights, non-perishable food, batteries, matches, and more) packed and ready at all times, but every minute counts when you’re facing a rising storm and heavy evacuation traffic.
Avoid driving through heavy pools of water. You don’t know what’s in them and could cause damage to your vehicle or even leave you stranded. Also, keep an eye out for fallen wires or lines on the road and avoid driving near or around them. If you must drive through standing water, drive slowly – it will help prevent water from flooding the engine.
The storm might seem like it’s calming down. You may feel comfortable within the safety of your car. But don’t give in to the temptation to kick back and relax or flip on cruise control. The road is a dangerous place with or without inclement weather, so pay attention to your driving, your surroundings, and others on the road. If you begin to hydroplane, don’t hit the brakes hard. Instead, lightly tap the brake pedal to slow.
Just because you’re prepared doesn’t mean you’re invincible. Do all you can to stay in a safe place and if you’re in your car, stay inside and try to find a parking garage or overpass for additional protection. Even if you drive a more rugged vehicle like a Jeep, don’t assume they’re better for the weather. Height may actually work against you.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t see the car driving ahead of you, you’re better off pulling to the side of the road and waiting for the rain to ease up. If you come to an intersection light that isn’t working, treat it as a four-way stop: it’s the law and important for everyone’s safety.
If your vehicle shuts down in standing water, do not give in to the urge to restart it. This could allow more water in the engine and cause more damage. Leave your car as quickly as possible and find higher ground. Flood waters can rise at a rapid rate and sweep everything away.
Remember that the majority of weather-related deaths are from accidents on roadways. Getting a handle of which route you plan on taking, doing all you can to prepare, and using common sense will make a big difference when stress levels are high. Get your ducks in order with work and let your boss know your safety situation, keep connected with family, and stay up-to-date on shifts in the weather. We encourage safety as a priority for our teammates; if you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to your local branch representative.
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About the Author
Anna Mischke is the Content Marketing Specialist for PeopleReady. Stories are what spark Anna and she's continually feeding her curiosity around the constant shifts in marketing, technology, and psychology - and their correlation with one another. Often, she's writing, feverishly reading, illustrating, or sneaking treats to her Scottish Fold kittens.More Content by Anna Mischke