Vehicle-related flood deaths in the United States, 1995–2005

Authors


Correspondence

Thomas Schmidlin, Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA

Tel: +1 330 672 3227

Email: tschmidl@kent.edu

Abstract

Vehicle-related deaths comprise more than half of all flash flood fatalities in the United States. Using the publication Storm Data from the United States National Climatic Data Center, we found 555 vehicle-related flood deaths that occurred in 355 flooding events during 1995–2005. Males accounted for 60% of the deaths. The difference in death rates between the sexes was small at ages 19 and younger but males died at twice the rate of females for ages 40 and older. Elevated deaths rates were found for both males and females under age 5 and over 60. Flooding events classified as flash floods accounted for most of the fatalities. Vehicle-related flood deaths were concentrated in the Texas Hill Country, the desert Southwest, the Ohio River Valley, and eastern North Carolina.

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