Florida

‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’: FHP Offers Safe Driving Tips for Flooded Roadways

Driving with hazard lights on a big no-no

As South Florida deals with flooding from heavy rain, the Florida Highway Patrol is offering tips on safely navigating wet roads and highways.

Officials say first and foremost "turn around, don't drown" when encountering a flooded-out street. There are too many variables that could end up with tragic results.

Obvious tips include having your seatbelt on, having your lights on and windshield wipers on. You should also reduce your speed.

"If you're going too fast you could easily hydroplane. You have to make sure your tires are properly inflated and your tires are not worn out," FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky said.

Do not use your hazards unless your car is parked or out of commission. It's confusing to other drivers on the road plus you can get a ticket for driving with hazards on.

"But in reality they may think you're stopped and like you said, your brake lights may not be working, your turn signal may not be working," Wysocky said.

As for flooded-out streets and parking lots, cars aren't boats in deep water.

"The first thing you do is shut off the ignition key. This will avoid the consumption of water and engines cannot compress a liquid. And this causes internal engine damage," said David Cohn, with West Broward Auto Repair.

Cohn said it's a $3,000-$6,000 remedy.

"There's air intakes in this corner and this corner. So with the rush of the water and this suction from the engine, you take in too much water and the car is going to immediately stall," Cohn said.

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