Driving in a hailstorm can be a terrifying experience, as hailstones can cause significant damage to vehicles and pose risks to drivers and passengers. If you find yourself caught in a hailstorm while driving, it’s crucial to stay calm and take appropriate safety measures. In this blog, we will provide essential tips on what to do when caught in a hailstorm while driving to ensure your safety and protect your vehicle.
Stay Calm and Slow Down
The first and most crucial step is to stay calm. Avoid panicking and try to maintain a clear mind. Reduce your speed but avoid sudden braking, as roads can become slippery during a hailstorm. Slowing down will give you more time to react to any potential hazards.
Find a Safe Place to Pull Over
If possible, find a safe place to pull over and stop, away from the path of hailstones. Look for covered parking, gas station canopies, or any sheltered areas. Avoid stopping under bridges or overpasses, as they may cause traffic congestion and are not safe during severe weather conditions.
Angle Your Vehicle
If there’s no available shelter, angle your vehicle in a way that the front is facing the oncoming hail. This can provide a bit of protection for the windshield, as it is made to withstand forward impact.
Turn on Hazard Lights
Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that you are stopping due to the hailstorm. This will make your vehicle more visible and help prevent accidents.
Protect Yourself and Passengers
Use blankets, jackets, or any available items to shield yourself and your passengers from potential hail damage inside the vehicle. Keep your seatbelt fastened to ensure everyone’s safety in case of an accident.
Avoid the Windshield
Avoid leaning on or pressing against the windshield, as hail can shatter it. Stay away from the side windows as well, as they can also crack or break due to the force of the hail.
Avoid Flooded Areas
During and after a hailstorm, heavy rainfall can lead to flooding in low-lying areas. Avoid driving through flooded roads, as the water depth may be deeper than it appears and can stall your vehicle or cause loss of control.
Wait It Out
If you can’t find shelter and the hailstorm is severe, it’s best to wait it out until the storm subsides. Listen to weather updates and wait for the all-clear before resuming your journey.
Check for Damage
Once the hailstorm has passed, inspect your vehicle for any damage. Look for dents, cracks, and broken glass. Document the damage with photos for insurance purposes.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
If your vehicle sustains hail damage, contact your insurance provider to report the incident and initiate the claims process. Be sure to provide them with the necessary documentation and photos of the damage.
Being caught in a hailstorm while driving can be a daunting experience, but staying calm and following these safety tips can help protect you and your vehicle. Finding shelter, angling your vehicle, and protecting yourself from potential hail damage are essential steps to ensure your safety during a hailstorm.
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