Hurricane Laura struck the Louisiana coast, battering parts of Louisiana with category 4 winds. It is expected that while cities inland won’t see the strongest category 4 winds, cities inland can still see wind damage and flood damage from the storm. The large size of the storm means that large areas of the state and the nation will be affected. The Weather Channel reports that homes and businesses across Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas have no power, and a chemical plant near Lake Charles was on fire, leaving officials to ask residents to shelter in place. The Weather Channel also reports 4 deaths, with those reported dead living inland. Everyone is at risk when severe weather strikes. When it comes to driving after a storm or venturing out, it is important to keep in mind the hazards, follow local orders, and take steps to protect your family.
The Doyle Law Firm is a personal injury law firm in Houma, Louisiana that is here to help families who have suffered personal injuries due to car accidents or due to other accidents. We hope that families and drivers will take steps in the coming days to stay safe. Here are some safe post-hurricane driving tips.
Post-Hurricane Driving Tips
First, we can’t stress how important it is that you follow local orders. If you are being asked to stay home, stay home. Live powerlines touching water can create serious electrical hazards. People often die because they are struck by debris or falling objects or trees and in the aftermath of a storm, structures, trees, and standing pools of water can pose serious safety hazards. Consumer Reports offers some additional tips if you do need to venture out. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Wet engines and standing water do not mix. Don’t try to start your car if it is submerged in water because this can cause permanent damage to your engine. Don’t drive through water for the same reason. There’s another reason why you’ll want to avoid driving through standing water: standing water can hide submerged powerlines which can pose a risk of shock and standing water can also hide debris like nails or other objects that can damage your tires.
- Be aware of road debris and don’t try to drive through roads heavily covered with debris. Not only might you damage your tires, but you could also get your vehicle stuck, and emergency services may be delayed or have trouble accessing you in the aftermath of a storm. That said, don’t try to ford rivers with your car either, or try to cross flowing bodies of water.
- Drive slowly. In wet road conditions, it can take much longer to slow and stop your car. Accidents can happen if a driver misjudges how long it will take to stop the car.
- Don’t drive under a fallen tree. Just don’t risk it. You never know when the branch will collapse. Sometimes branches are leaning on powerlines, and all it takes is a little shift for everything to come toppling down. You also never know if the power lines are electrified, making hanging branches and debris especially hazardous.
- Be careful about pedestrians and bikers. Debris can change the way a road looks and make these smaller-profile road users harder to see.
These are just some things to keep in mind when venturing out after a storm. Your best bet after a hurricane is to stay home. Don’t go out until officials give you that all-clear. And if you must venture out, be extra careful because roads can have hidden and unexpected hazards. Be aware that your route may also be flooded, making it impossible for you to pass. Plan your route ahead of time and read the news to see if there are any blocked roads you should avoid.
What to do If You’ve Been in a Post-Hurricane Accident?
Insurance companies are likely getting flooded with claims related to storm damage and vehicle damage, but if you’ve been in a car accident after a hurricane, it is important that you let your insurance company know as soon as possible. You’ll also want to call the police and make a police report. Even though emergency services might be strained after a storm, it is important to take steps to keep yourself safe and to get help for those who may have been hurt. Finally, if you have questions about your rights after a crash, reach out to the Doyle Law Firm, a Houma, Louisiana personal injury law firm today. Our lawyers can review the details of your case, help you understand your rights, estimate the value of your claim, and may be able to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law. Reach out to us today or connect with us through USAttorneys.com.