Why is Turn Around Don’t Drown So Important?
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather-related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.
What Can I Do to Avoid Getting Caught in This Situation?
Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice: Turn Around Don’t Drown.
The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.
If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited.
Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don’t Drown.
Follow these safety rules:
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“Flooding can happen rapidly due to heavy thunderstorm rains or slowly due to spring snowmelt. The combination of warm temperatures, heavy rains, and rapid snowmelt is potentially the most hazardous. Either way, many deaths could have been prevented by simply turning around. A canceled or delayed trip is worth the time and effort.” – NOAA