The Houston area is once again bracing for bad weather as a tropical system moves through the Gulf of Mexico, heading for the Texas coast. A flash flood watch has been issued for Southeast Texas starting at 10 p.m.

On Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said there was a 90 percent chance that the system would develop into a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Bill.

While it’s not yet certain where the storm will hit and how much rain the Houston area will see, it’s important to be prepared.

Flash Floods and Driving Safety

About half of all fatalities related to flooding in the U.S. involve automobiles. These typically happen when motorists try to drive through flooded roadways.

As we’ve seen this week in Texas, roads can quickly become overwhelmed by floodwaters. While emergency management officials recommend not driving during flash flood conditions, sometimes the situation arises so quickly that you’re already on the road before a warning goes out.

Here are our tips on what to do if you’re caught in a flash flood while driving:

  • Do not attempt to drive across a flooded roadway. It doesn’t take much water to wash away a vehicle, particularly if the water is moving fast. Even if the water looks shallow, it can be hiding areas of the road that have been washed out.
  • If you’re caught in rising waters, leave your vehicle immediately and get to higher ground.
  • If your vehicle is submerged and swept away, try to remain as calm as possible. If you can, roll down the window and get out of the vehicle. If the windows won’t open, wait for your car to fill with water; once this happens, you’ll be able to open your doors. Hold your breath and swim to the surface of the water.
  • If you are swept into rushing floodwaters, point your feet downstream and always go OVER obstacles, never under.
  • If stranded on something elevated, such as a tree or a rooftop, stay there and wait for help. Do not enter the floodwaters.

Bad Weather Accidents

When bad weather strikes, we often see an increase in car accidents. While the weather conditions are a contributing factor, it’s usually not the only cause of the accident. It may not even be the main cause.

Drivers are obligated to take proper precautions for the road conditions they are driving in, which includes observing extra safety measures when driving in stormy weather. If a driver does not take these precautions and causes an accident, the driver may be held liable for the damages and injuries caused.

If you were hurt in a collision because of another driver’s negligent behavior during bad weather, the Houston auto accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers can help investigate your claim and pursue compensation on your behalf.

During our investigation, we ask questions such as:

  • Was the other driver engaging in reckless driving behavior for the conditions, such as speeding or not following at a safe distance?
  • Was the other driver intoxicated or driving distracted?
  • Were there obstacles on the road when the crash happened?
  • Did poor road design contribute to the hazardous conditions?
  • Did a vehicle malfunction contribute to the accident?

Finding the cause or causes of a car accident helps identify who the liable parties are. Once this is determined, we can pursue compensation for the injuries and damages that resulted from their negligent actions.

If you are injured in a bad weather accident, contact Jonathan Harris, an auto accident lawyer in Houston Texas, to schedule a free consultation.