Hurricane Florence has struck North Carolina with 90-mph winds and a terrifying storm surge. Some towns got 18 inches of rain in just a few hours, according to media reports.
Experts are predicting that Florence could dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Maryland.
With this in mind, hurricane season is a good time to remind drivers how to stay safe if they are forced to drive in torrential rains and wind. Experts suggest these nine tips:
It's the best way to keep control on wet, slippery roads and with limited visibility.
Be Mindful of Puddles
They can hide potholes during a downpour, and hitting one can only make matters worse while on the road.
Avoid Flooded Roads or Moving Water
Experts say drivers often underestimate just how deep the water is and attempt to drive through it, which can lead to disaster. In fact, in one foot of water, some vehicles will float. Two feet of water can sweep vehicles away, including SUVs and pickups.
Anticipate Wind Gusts
Notice and avoid larger vehicles on the road that may have trouble staying in their lane. In addition, be extra cautious when driving through wind prone areas such as overpasses.
Hydroplaning is when your vehicle loses contact with the road and feels like it is floating on water. It's a dangerous situation and can happen during any storm. To avoid hydroplaning, slow down, turn off cruise control, and avoid sudden braking and turns.
Turn on Your Headlights
To increase visibility use your headlights, but not the high beams, which can distract you and other drivers.
Use the Defroster and Air Conditioner
The defroster will help reduce fogging. Make sure to set the air conditioner on fresh air versus recirculate.
Increase Following Distance
While driving in a hurricane or any extreme weather, it is always best to keep ample distance between your vehicle and the one ahead. This way you have more time to react to any sudden moves or stalls by other vehicles.
Get to Higher Ground
It's always best not to drive at all in extreme weather. So if possible, find a safe place on higher ground and pull over until the downpour passes.