The East Coast is reeling over the incredible strength of Hurricane Sandy. President Barack Obama is even warning that the storm could have deadly consequences, heightening public anxiety.
According to The Washington Post, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to higher ground as this category-1 storm threatens the most heavily populated part of the United States. Drivers traveling on the nation’s roadways during this powerful storm face serious risks due to high wind conditions, potential flooding, and poor visibility.
Washington D.C.’s entire public transit system ceased operation today. Schools, colleges, and universities also shut down across the East Coast. Experienced car accident attorneys warn drivers in this region to use extreme caution while traveling through hurricane-force winds and rain.
The mega storm has already grounded thousands of flights and is expected to make landfall soon. The dangerous surge of the hurricane is geared towards the north, in areas such as Pennsylvania and New York City. The 1,000 mile-wide storm is threatening the East Coast with extreme destruction, and city officials anticipate mandatory travel restrictions.
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However, the impact of Sandy will be felt all the way into the Midwest, with possible wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour in Chicago and waves as high as 25 feet on Lake Michigan. Areas in Kentucky, Ohio, and as far as West Virginia and Maryland will also be heavily impacted. Widespread power outages are expected across the region and could even last for days, while utility teams attempt to make repairs amidst the storm. This is worrisome for drivers because power outages may leave gas stations unable to pump fuel from the ground.
As the hurricane accelerates, the dangers heighten. Transit shut-downs in New York City and Washington D.C. are leaving millions without a way to get around. FEMA advises citizens in Sandy’s path to drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. If you must drive during the storm, watch for fallen objects such as downed electrical wires, and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
The insidiousness of the hurricane lies in her unpredictability and vast reach. The storm already caused an estimated 69 deaths and countless injuries in the Caribbean last week after three days of non-stop rain. Many residents are still without fresh water, power, and shelter.
Traffic restrictions are being enforced in New York City and Washington D.C.. It is important to note, however, that the risk of dangerous road conditions extends all the way into the Midwest. Unexpected and unprecedented high winds may affect the driving conditions on your local roads. Larger trucks are especially prone to storm-related crashes because they are heavily impacted by high winds.
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Dark skies and slippery roads pose a threat to all drivers, and it is important to take precautions and prepare for an unexpected weather emergency. Ensure your own safety and the safety of others by being fully aware of your vehicle, and whether you have any over-due maintenance issues or other factors that could contribute to an accident in extreme weather conditions. Know the most common weather and traffic hazards in your community and prepare accordingly.
A storm of this magnitude requires extreme safety measures. Our car accidents lawyerswarn that crashes can lead to serious injuries and deaths, especially during unpredictable and volatile weather conditions.