Safety Tips for Driving in a Hail Storm
If you live in Tornado Alley, you should always be prepared for any and all types of severe weather – especially if you are on the road. This comes from someone who has experienced this unpredictability herself! Storms can literally seem like they come out of nowhere. One minute, clear skies and carefree driving. Next minute, the sky is dark, ominous, and spitting hail down in bucket loads.
What is it like driving on the highway during one of these freak hail storms? It can be scary. It is extraordinarily loud. Visibility is 1 foot if you are lucky. This is when driving in a hail storm can become extremely dangerous.
Find a SAFE place to pull over.
You will be very tempted to pull over immediately. If you are stuck on the highway, this might not be as easy as it sounds. You are not the only person on the highway that is scared and unsure what to do. If you pull over immediately, you run the chance of getting hit by another vehicle because they simply can not see anything ahead of them. Remember to try to stay as calm as possible, slow down, and look for an underpass or an exit. Pull over as far as you can making sure to avoid going into a ditch. Ditches can become flooded quickly in a severe hail storm.
Stay in your vehicle.
If you have found a safe place to pull over, stay in your vehicle. With diminished visibility, you are more likely to get hit.
If you have pulled over onto the highway shoulder, stay in your vehicle. If hail can dent your vehicle, it can hurt your body. Wait out the storm. You might be tempted to check for auto hail damage but this can wait. If you have a blanket or something to cover with, lay down and cover-up. Hail stones can break your windshield.
Below is footage from the Wheat Ridge, CO hail storm on May 8, 2017. Hail was reported as being “golf-ball” sized and on record as the costliest storm at $1.4 billion dollars in auto hail damage and home/business damage.
Stay tuned to local radio.
When I got caught in a major hail storm while driving to Denver, CO, I didn’t realize that the area I was in was right in the middle of a tornado warning. This is definitely something to keep in mind. Tornados are notorious for adding hail into the mix of things.
Auto Hail Damage
If you have auto hail damage, read our article on what to do if you have hail damage. It covers the steps you should take from start to finish.