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HOUSTON (CW39) – Floods are the leading cause of weather-related deaths on Texas roadways. That’s why the Texas Department of Transportation is working to keep Texans safe with the “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” safety initiative.  Flash flooding in low-lying areas can make driving treacherous so TxDOT is reminding drivers to heed the important life saving warning, “Turn Around Don’t Drown.”

HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 27: Police shut down highway 69 due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TxDOT officials say it only takes six inches of fast-moving water can cause drivers to lose control of a vehicle, pick-up truck, or SUV.  The flood waters also have hidden dangers such as debris, tree branches, power lines, or damage to the road, and that can seriously damage vehicles and can be deadly to drivers and passengers. Here are some tips TxDOT says drivers should use during heavy rain or flooding:

·         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 and move to higher ground.

Drivers caught driving around barriers blocking low water crossing or flooded roadways may face a fine up $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.  People caught tampering or removing roadway warning signs or barricades may get fined up to $1,000, up to two years in jail, or both.

The “Be Safe. Drive Safe.” is apart of #EndTheStreakTX, which asks Texans to commit to driving safely to end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.  It encourages drivers to make safer choices like, wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving. The last deathless day on the Texas roadways was November 7, 2000.