Avoiding Car Accidents and Injuries After Irma
As hundreds of thousands of emergency relief personnel, utility workers, and volunteers descend on the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, they will be joined by the millions of evacuated Florida residents hoping to return to what is left of their homes. With flooding, debris, and traffic tie ups an issue on many roads, car accidents and injuries will be at a heightened risk. The following offers important information on what to expect in impacted areas, as well as ways in which you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Traffic Tie Ups On Florida’s Roads and Interstates
In the days and hours leading up to Hurricane Irma, traffic congestion tied up most of the main arteries running through the state. A CNN report on the day landfall was expected advised that Interstates 10, 95, and 75 were clogged with minor car accidents and car breakdowns, while fuel tankers sought to refill local gas stations. Along with the National Guard and countless military members who flooded in, utility crews from neighboring states came ready to spring into action the minute the storm had passed.
While West Palm Beach was spared the almost direct hit that was initially expected, heavy rains, wind, and storm surge took a heavy tool, as it did throughout the state. Whether you have already made it back home or are headed back after evacuating, it is important to use a high level of caution in navigating the potentially dangerous road and traffic conditions that continue to exist.
Driving In Disaster Areas
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following tips on driving in areas affected by the severe impacts that go along with natural disasters:
- Realize that normal traffic patterns may have been altered, and follow any emergency road signs and signals;
- In areas where traffic signals are out, take turns as you would at a four way stop;
- Be alert for debris and obstacles in the roads;
- Avoid following too closely behind other motorists;
- Use extra care in following dump trucks and others hauling debris;
- Plan your route in advance, and let others know where you are headed and your expected arrival time;
- Avoid distractions such as talking on the phone or reading text messages;
- Try to remain calm, and focus on the task of driving.
Avoid driving through standing water. It is nearly impossible to guess the amount of depth, and even six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car, while two feet could wash your vehicle away.
Contact Us Today for Professional Help
As proud members of the West Palm Beach community, the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. is here to help throughout recovery efforts. Contact Gregg Wexler if you are involved in disputes over insurance claims, accidents, or injuries, and to find out if there is compensation you may be entitled to. When serious accidents and injuries impact you and your loved ones, we provide professional legal representation you can count on to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Call or contact us online today to request a consultation.