I commute to work on SH 288, which has a tendency to flood. Usually the water's not too deep, so what's the big deal if I want to try and drive through it? What's the real danger? | DENENA | POINTS

Our Pearland car accident lawyers can tell you how just a foot or two of water could easily cost you your life when flooding affects SH 288. Water weighs 62.4 pounds per cubic foot. Floodwaters usually rush downstream at a rate of 6 to 12 miles per hour, faster than you walk.

When your car stalls out in floodwaters, this momentum gets transferred from the floodwater to your car. For each foot that the water rises, that’s about 500 pounds of lateral force that gets applied to your car.

And a foot of water will float most passenger cars away. Two feet will carry off a pickup truck or an SUV. For each foot that the floodwater rises up the side of your vehicle, the vehicle is displacing around 1,500 pounds of water. So basically, your car weighs 1,500 pounds less for each foot that the floodwater rises.

This buoyancy will sweep away cars and their occupants. The floating vehicle can suffer impacts in the rushing floodwaters from other floating vehicles, uprooted trees, buildings torn from their foundations, and other debris. And there’s a strong risk that the vehicle will submerge along with its occupants.

If you reach rising waters and you have a chance to drive away, do so immediately. If you can’t drive out, you might need to abandon the vehicle and seek safety on foot. It’s better to lose your vehicle than your life. But be careful. Don’t try to walk through rushing floodwater, even if it’s only a few inches deep. Just 6 inches of swiftly moving water can knock an adult from their feet and sweep them underwater to drown. And floodwaters easily erode roads and other surfaces, so the water may actually be deeper and more dangerous than it appears.

Our Pearland car accident lawyers suggest that you find alternative routes for your commute in case of heavy rains. Your effort may just save your life.

And if you’ve been injured on the road, contact us for a free legal consultation regarding your accident. If you have questions, we have your answers.