Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 2:30 PM
Driving under the influence of weather: Perceptions of flash floods and vehicle safety
206A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Flooding is the second-leading cause of U.S. morbidity related to natural hazards, resulting in an average of 84 fatalities per year. Over half of the casualties are directly related to people driving through flooded water. To better understand why people drive through flooded water, this presentation discusses results from user surveys based on respondents in Denver, CO, and Austin, TX. The results show people are more likely to drive through flooded roads if they lack knowledge on the dangers of floods and do not take flood warnings seriously. Some evidence suggests age, gender, and trauma may also play a role. Combined, these risk factors can be used to assess the probability that a specific individual will drive through flooded roads.