Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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Steps to protect yourself if your car is in a flood

The recent weather throughout Nevada and California has been unusual and frightening this time of year. Northern areas have received record amounts of snow, to be followed by heavy rains and serious flooding. If there is anything this winter has taught us at the Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd., it is to expect the unexpected. This is also true for areas that typically do not see this type of weather.

In Southern Nevada, a sudden, heavy rainstorm could mean disaster. The area is ill prepared for emergency flooding, and large amounts of water do not easily soak into the hard-packed ground of desert areas. As a result, you might find yourself driving through deep standing water or, at worst, facing flash floods. This situation can quickly turn serious if your vehicle is flooded. What should you do if your car stalls in water and you are trapped?

According to, flooded roads should not be taken lightly. Your car could be swept away in as little as 12 inches of moving water. Water in the roadway can also be dangerous because you will not be able to see potholes, dips and other areas that are deeper than they appear at first glance. The best course of action in a flood is to avoid driving through water that covers the road. If water has stalled your car and you find yourself trapped, it is important to stay calm. Open the windows, climb out and wade or swim to high ground. Do not remain with your vehicle or climb onto the roof; the water could rise and sweep you and your car away.

If the windows will not budge, avoid expending energy trying to escape. Use a cellphone to call 911 if possible, and turn on your headlights to make it easier for emergency personnel to find you. If the windows will not open and the water level is rising, you will need to wait for the pressure inside and outside your vehicle to equalize, before you will be able to open your door. This means that the water may become quite deep before you can get the door open. Not panicking is crucial in this type of situation.

The actions of others during adverse conditions might affect your safety, despite your best efforts. You may learn more about dangerous conditions by visiting our personal injury page.

John P. Aldrich
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