Wet Weather Driving Tips as Tropical Storm Hermine Approaches

A tropical storm is heading for Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina. Although Hermine has weakened from a hurricane, it could still bring serious flooding and lead to dangerous wet weather driving.

We are all aware of the dangers of flooding in low-lying Hampton Roads. A couple of years ago I was trapped in a waterlogged street in Norfolk and had to abandon my car in the flood waters.

That was not even during a tropical storm. You should be aware that the flood waters can rise fast during downpours and the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampton are at particular risks from flooding.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, Hermine had was packing sustained winds of 60 mph and was about 190 miles west-southwest of Savannah in Georgia, It’s expected to move into the Carolinas on Friday night and Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

While the storm will weaken again as it crosses Georgia, the winds may gather strength again as it reaches the coast of North Carolina.

The National Weather Center says Southeastern Virginia is likely to see 3 to 6 inches of rain and northeastern North Carolina about 4 to 7 inches. Both regions are under a flash flood watch until 8 p.m. on Saturday. Aim to stay indoors. If you must drive on Saturday here are some tips. Check the National Weather Service website for the latest conditions.

Five Wet Weather Driving Tips.

1 – Don’t drive into areas with flood water.

When roads are flooded, you may not know how deep the flood is. You could be swept away, and your car is likely to be damaged. There may be hidden obstacles in the water. Parts of Norfolk around The Hague and Olde Town Portsmouth are susceptible to tidal flooding and cars can easily get stranded.

2 – Check and Use Your Lights – If your wipers are on, your headlights should also be. It’s the law in Virginia. Wet weather can decrease visibility.

3 – Don’t use cruise control – You have less control when you are losing cruise control, and you should not use it in wet weather. If you want to avert a loss of traction, you can reduce your car’s speed by lifting your foot off the accelerator. This won’t happen if cruise control is engaged.

4 – Slow down and don’t tailgate – When there is standing water on the road, hydroplaning is a risk. Drivers should reduce their speed to gauge how much water is on the roadway. Always leave plenty of distance between yourself and other road users.

5 Avoid Hard Braking – When you slam your foot hard on the brake, the brakes can lock, and you could lose control and skid in slippery conditions. If your vehicle begins to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go in.

Many people drive poorly in wet weather and fail to slow down. If you are struck and injured by a reckless or a careless driver, you may have grounds to file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy. Contact our auto wreck attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 for help if you have been hurt in a Virginia or North Carolina car crash and stay safe on the wet roads.

Bill O'Mara


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