Highway Safety During Hurricane, Tropical Storm

Posted on August 28, 2008

It’;s hard to imagine what might cause people to take to the roads during a hurricane or tropical storm but Fay, which just passed through our area, took a number of lives, including a teenage girl who was the head of her class as Paxon.

Now the Florida Highway Patrol is issuing safety tips as a precaution before Tropical Storm Gustav hits Florida.

First on the list is to stay put! Even if a hurricane never materialized, a Tropical Storm, with its extended rain and wind and the aftermath, can lead to injuries and deaths.  Sightseers impede roads for emergency personnel to pass.

Slow down even if the storm has passed, the roads remain slick and you could hydroplane. 

Buckle up your seat belt, the extra time it takes may just save your life, besides it is the law in Florida.

Four of the deaths related to Tropical Storm Fay involved motorists who were not wearing their seatbelts.

Gusty winds make driving very difficult, adversely affecting all vehicles, especially high profile trucks, buses as well as motorcycles. Even if you are not in a high profile vehicle, the vehicle next to you might be one.

Do not drive through any flooded areas, even if you know the roads. You have no idea what is beneath the water, such as an eroded roads surface, electrical wires, debris or tree branches.

If traffic lights are down, as can happen during a storm, look for law enforcement directing traffic. Otherwise treat the intersection as if you were coming upon a four-way stop sign.

Motorists looking for additional information during a story can call 511 on their cell phones for up-to-the-minute information on traffic congestion, road construction, lane closures, and delays on Florida’;s roads.

And it is a good time to remember to enter your contact information on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles web site. 

That information shortcuts the time it takes to alert loved ones if you are in an accident. The effort was started by a woman whose child was killed in a motorcycle accident and she had to wait a half day to find her body.

Go online to enroll at http://www.flhsmv.gov/.

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