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AAA offers safety tips for driving, as rains continue to cause standing water, flooding; drive cautiously

With the tri-state area under a high risk for excessive rain, AAA is urging motorists to be prepared and to remain cautious if driving.

According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, rain, snow, sleet and fog are a factor in more than 1.1 million police-reported crashes, 425,000 injuries and 5,100 traffic deaths per year – with rain leading adverse the weather condition. The average crash data for various types of bad weather includes:

· Motorists are urged to watch for flooded roadways throughout the Cincinnati area.

· The depth of standing water during a storm can be deceiving. Motorists should never drive through standing water at any depth.

· Should you be on the road and encounter standing water, your safest course of action is always to simply turn the car around and avoid it altogether. No matter how familiar you may be with the road, never drive through standing water—at any depth—as it could cause serious damage to your vehicle.

“If you don’t know how deep the water is, then don’t drive through it,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “The best plan is to park your car on the highest ground possible and take shelter.” If a vehicle is driven through standing water, a driver risks flooding the engine, warping brake rotors, loss of power steering, or a short in the electrical components of the car, all of which can be costly to repair.”

Repairs related to flooded vehicles can cost thousands of dollars to repair—and may not be covered by your auto insurance. AAA Insurance Agent, Dan Scroggins, said “a flooded vehicle falls under comprehensive coverage, which you may not be required to carry. If your vehicle stalls in standing water, do not try to restart it.
Instead, call AAA immediately, as attempting to restart the vehicle allows more water to enter and further damage the engine.”

3 Fast Flood Facts:

· As little as one foot of water can “float” most vehicles.
· Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles—including SUVs and pick-ups.
· Repair costs for damage caused by driving through standing water can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

AAA offer these additional wet weather driving tips:

Buckle up: Make sure the driver and all passengers (including pets!) are properly restrained in a seat belt or car seat prior to traveling.

See and be Seen: Make sure all headlights, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning so other drivers will see you during downpours. Turn on your headlights whenever you drive in inclement weather.

Slow Down and Leave Room: Reduce the chance of hydroplaning by slowing down while driving. Also, allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing following distance of the vehicle in front of you.

Avoid Cruise Control: To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged. Avoiding cruise control will allow the driver more options to choose from when responding to a potential loss of traction situation, thus maximizing safety.

Responding to a Skid: Do not panic if the vehicle begins to skid. Instead, remain calm and continue to look and steer in the direction you are traveling. In addition, avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

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