Driving in Severe Spring Weather


We’ve previously talked about safely driving on wintry roads. But winter isn’t the only time of the year when driving can get dicey. As the year moves through spring and transitions into summer, extreme weather conditions can arise very quickly. In a short period of time, conditions can go from seemingly clear to heavy thunderstorms, hail, high winds or even tornadoes. If there’s advance warning of this type of weather, it’s always best to stay where you are if at all possible. But if you have to be on the road or get caught by surprise with severe spring weather, we want to share some tips for how to stay safe:


Heavy Storms or Hail


The two big risks associated with heavy storms are roads becoming slick and visibility getting reduced. This is why it’s important to turn on your headlights. Just be sure to use low beams instead of your high ones. Next, slow down a bit. You’ll want to leave enough room in front of you to brake without slamming into a car that suddenly stops. In the event that a storm gets so heavy that it becomes nearly impossible to see anything, pulling over may be your best option. Just be sure to park away from trees and power lines, as they can fall during this type of weather. You’ll also want to stay inside your vehicle at all times.


Some storms end up creating hail. If this occurs while you’re on the road, you’ll want to follow the same advice outlined above. For especially heavy hail, finding a spot to pull over that has some overhead coverage is a smart move.


High Winds or Tornadoes


Winds can get extremely strong during this time of the year. If you’re driving and notice that high winds make your car hard to control, you’ll either want to get on a route that allows you to safely reduce your speed or get off the road completely until the wind calms down.


While tornadoes are the least common of the different weather events we’re covering, they do happen. For example, at least five tornadoes hit the Tri-State at the beginning of March. The most important thing to remember about a tornado is it’s not something you can safely outrun. If at all possible, you’ll want to quickly get your car to a building where you can go inside and safely take shelter. In the most extreme of circumstances, it may not be possible to get off the road in time. The best course of action then is to pull over, get out of your car and lie in a ditch (avoiding debris if possible). You can then protect your head and neck with your hands until the tornado passes.


Although we hope that you don’t ever have to deal with any severe spring weather conditions while you’re on the road, being prepared by knowing what you should do will help you stay safe in any situation. 

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