The Middle Tennessee area was hit with severe storms Sunday evening, causing intense rainfall and standing water on roadways throughout the area.
WKRN.com reports that heavy rainfall may have been to blame for an accident that involved an SUV flipping onto its roof in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 at the off-ramp near Charlotte Pike on Sunday afternoon.
The accident caused traffic to slow for more than one hour as emergency responders from the Metro Nashville Police Department and local fire departments worked to clear the scene.
In addition, emergency responders temporarily closed Belinda Parkway in Wilson County due to standing water. However, the water receded after a few hours and the roadway was reopened.
More storms passed through the area late Sunday, and Flash Flood Watches were issued for several Middle Tennessee counties, including Cumberland, Rutherford, Warren, and Wilson counties from 11 p.m. Sunday evening to 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.
Officials say that drivers should be careful and turn around if they see high water levels on the road.
Tips for Staying Safe when Driving during Rain Storms
Inclement weather is one of the top causes of auto accidents, and heavy rainfall increases the difficulty of every aspect of driving. During downpours, visibility is reduced, tire traction is reduced, and braking distances significantly increase. These factors combine to make accidents much more likely to occur unless drivers take extra precautions.
To better protect yourself and your loved ones, do your best to follow these tips when driving during downpours:
- Reduce your speed
Speeding and bad weather can be a deadly combination. When roads are slick, your tires have less grip on the asphalt. That means sudden movements and turns can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. You can even lose control while traveling in a straight line—an effect called hydroplaning. The heavier the rainfall, the more you should reduce your speed.
- Turn on your lights
Even if it’s the middle of the day, heavy rainfall can reduce visibility. In addition to making it more difficult for you to see the road and other vehicles in front of you, it also makes your vehicle harder for other drivers to see. Turning on your lights improves your visibility and makes your car easier to spot, even from a distance, reducing your risk of an accident.
- Keep distance between your vehicle and other vehicles
Losing traction due to the dangerous mixture of water and oil means that your brakes are much less effective than they are in normal dry conditions. And if you must slam on your brakes in response to the vehicles in front of you suddenly slowing or stopping, they may lock up. Driving slowly and making sure you have plenty of room in front of you can help you avoid a serious rear-end collision.
- Never drive through standing or moving water
Heavy downpours can result in flash floods that happen without warning—especially in areas where water is already moving. In addition, you also face serious risks and damage to your vehicle if you drive through standing water. If you see any excess water in the roadway, turn around and take an alternate route.
The Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know that inclement weather is a significant cause of accidents in Middle Tennessee. Following the tips above is a great way to reduce your risks and improve your driving ability during heavy downpours. However, it’s also important to remember that downpours can occasionally become so severe that it’s unsafe to drive, regardless of how cautious you are. When that happens, pull your vehicle over to a safe location and wait for the storm to pass.
If you or someone you know was injured in an accident caused by a driver who was speeding, tailgating, or driving recklessly in inclement weather—or at any other time—our legal team wants to speak with you. We have two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims like you, and we know how to maximize your chances of getting compensation for your accident-related expenses. Contact us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online consultation form.