Safety should always be your top priority when getting on the road but if you’re forced to drive in a hail storm, there are several basic driving safety tips you can follow to keep you safe while driving through a hail storm.
Is it safe to drive in a hail storm?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question and it ultimately depends on the severity of the storm. If you’ve checked the weather report and it only calls for minor hail, then generally you should be OK and the worst you risk is minor hail damage to your vehicle which can easily be repaired by using paintless dent repair (pdr) technology to return your car back to new. Larger, more severe storms such as tornadoes can be a whole other ball game and these types of storms can be life-threatening with hail that will knock your windows out putting you in a high-risk situation. Yes, we can still repair the hail damage to your car but driving through a storm that produces golf ball or softball size hail but most likely the rest of your car may be smashed in.
Here’s what to do if you drive into a hailstorm:
The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.
- Immediately turn on the low beams, drop your speed, and stay aware of the vehicles around you on the road because other drivers may not know how to react when driving in a hailstorm.
- Allow three times the usual distance from the back bumper of the vehicle ahead so you can avoid a rear-end collision.
- Get off the road, but do so safely. The impact speed of hail is greater on a moving object, so your car is at greater risk of damage when it’s traveling forward. If you can, pull into a parking garage, under an overpass, a gas station canopy, or any other spot that offers shelter for your car.
- If pulling onto the shoulder of the road is your only option, make sure the car is completely out of the traffic lanes and off the roadway. Angle the car so the falling hail hits the windshield and not the side or back windows, which can break easier. Windshield glass is reinforced to better withstand wind and the impact of hail.
- Stay inside your vehicle. Fast-moving hailstones can break glass and dent metal, so they can injure you and your passengers too. If possible, lie down with your face away from the window. If you have a coat or blanket in the car, use it to protect your face and head in case of flying glass.
Here’s what to do if a hailstorm damages your vehicle:
- Call your insurance company as soon as you can to report your claim.
- Discuss the damage with your claims representative to determine the best repair method and set up an inspection time.
- Repair the hail damage to your car.
- Ensure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. Discuss any issues with the provider and check for any remaining dents before you accept your vehicle and take it home.
- Get a written guarantee and contact information from the shop before you leave.