Springtime in Iowa means saying goodbye to sleet, snow slush, and black ice while the roads. However, warmer weather also tends to bring with it other driving dangers. Helllloooo thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes! Driving in severe weather of any kind significantly increases your risk for roadway accidents and should be avoided at all costs. BUT, but here at LOF-Xpress™ , we know you’re busy and that commitments, obligations, and LIFE doesn’t stop when the weather gets bad. So, if you’re going to be commuting in stormy conditions, we want you to be prepared! Here are your LOF-Xpress™ approved TIPS FOR DRIVING IN SEVERE SPRING WEATHER.
Driving in Thunderstorms
Rain during thunderstorms can make roads slippery and reduce visibility. We encourage drivers to ensure that they can see upcoming hazards, thus having plenty of time to avoid them, by doing the following:
- Turn on your low-beam headlights.
- Reduce your speed. Duh, right? Wet are often more slippery than they appear. Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, so that you have plenty of time to brake if that car slows or stops.
- Depending on the severity of the storm, the capabilities of your car, and your own driving comfort level, you may want to consider stopping on the shoulder of the road to wait out the storm. When doing so, be sure to park away from trees and power lines. In addition, be sure to turn on your hazard lights, in an effort to alter other drivers.
Driving in Hail
Based on wind speeds and the size of the falling ice, hail can harmlessly bounce off your windshield OR it can cause severe damage. The windshields of newer vehicles are reinforced to withstand the force of flying objects. However, the back and side windows make break more easily. If hail begins to fall, pull over, ideally under an overpass or in a garage. But, if you can’t find shelter, keep your back to the windows and cover yourself with a blanket, in case your windows should break.
Driving in Tornadoes and High winds
Do not assume that you can outrun these unpredictable forces of nature. Instead, consider doing the following:
- When heavy winds hit your car, get off the road as quickly and as safely as possible. Erratic airflow can make your car difficult to control.
- If a tornado is headed your way, do not stay in your car. Seek shelter as soon as possible. This could be gas stations, places of business, rest stops, etc.
- If you do not have time to find shelter, take cover in a ditch, away from power lines or tress. Then, protect your head and neck with your hands.
While we all know that Mother Nature has a mind of her own and we have no control over the weather, a little preparation and a thunderstorm game-plan can help you avoid accidents. Tune into traffic and weather reports, so you know what’s in store. Visit one of our two convenient locations to ensure that your brakes, tires, and lights are working properly. Finally, be sure to keep an LOF-Xpress™ approved emergency kit in your car.