Braving the Storm in Your Car
Storms can catch you off guard, and if you're in your car when one strikes, you have to think fast! Would you know what to do if you are caught in a hailstorm, driving when a tornado is in the vicinity or run into a road that's flooded over?
Hail can be as small as a pea or as large as a baseball. If you are in your car during a hailstorm, you're probably concerned about damage to your car. To minimize the damage, keep these tips in mind:
- Try to find covered parking.
- If you cannot find covered parking, pull over. Driving in hail will only make the damage worse.
- Because large hail is less likely to break a windshield than side or back windows, try to park your car with your windshield facing the hail.
You've been working all day, not listening to the radio. When you leave to go home, you notice the skies look ominous, so you decide to hurry home to take cover from the impending storm. Just as you pull on to the highway, tornado sirens go off. What should you do? It depends…
- According to the NOAA, if you are driving and you see a tornado that is far away, the safest thing to do is rive at a right angle to that movement, so if it's heading east, drive to the south.
- If the tornado is too close to drive away from, pull over and try to find sturdy shelter. If there's no time, lie flat in a ditch and try to protect yourself from flying debris.
Have you ever been driving and suddenly approach a road that's flooded over? If it's only a small section of the road, you may be tempted to drive through it—particularly if you drive an SUV or a truck. However, this can be risky business. If you approach what appears to be a deep puddle or flood and you can't turn around, remember:
- Your car's engine can be damaged in as little as six inches of water, and 12 inches of water can cause a car to float.
- The pavement under the flood waters may be completely gone.
If you find yourself out on the open road in any of these conditions, the best thing you can do to stay safe and minimize damage to your car is to try to find a sturdy shelter, even if it means you will not reach your destination on time.