EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Department of Transportation initiated a new campaign aiming to help motorists navigate safely though flooded areas afflicted by inclement weather.

Since flashing flooding is a prevalent weather phenomenon, especially during the Monsoon season, it is easy for drivers to be in a precarious position where they may get stuck in rising rain water. The simple tip that TxDOT advises is to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”

The state law mandates that motorists obey signage where there is low-lying water dangers. If drivers and motorists choose to ignore these warnings, there is a hefty fine of $2,000 and possibly a 180-day stay in jail, or both punishments.

Statistically, flash flooding accounts for 60 percent of weather-related deaths in Texas that involve motor vehicles. Only six inches of rain water can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. That is why TxDOT has issued these life-saving pointers to help while driving in heavy rain or flooding conditions:

  • Stay informed about weather conditions.
  • Never drive through still or moving flood waters. Turn around, don’t drown.
  • Reduce your speed, drive to conditions, and turn off cruise control.
  • Be especially careful driving at night, when it can be harder to see flood dangers.
  • If your vehicle stalls in flood waters, if you can do so safely, leave it or move to higher ground.