Severe weather of all kinds can cause many problems for anybody caught by surprise out on the road. Here are a number of tips and tricks that you can use in order to stay safe.
- Movement of the ground while driving can disrupt the vehicle's ability to remain stable and grip the ground, so it is important to gradually slow down. Decreasing speed too quickly can further weaken the vehicle's grip and may increase the chances of collision, especially if other drivers are also having a difficult time controlling their vehicles.
- Earthquakes can cause structural damage that may lead to the collapse of buildings or items such as trees and power lines falling over, so it is important to remain in the open as much as possible. No structure should be assumed safe until it has been examined.
- Flooding may occur as soon as a few minutes after a downpour begins, and can come unexpectedly. If there is significant water on the roadway (6+ inches), avoid driving into it. Water can hide depth, so even if it looks shallow enough to cross, it may not be safe.
- If possible, drive to higher ground and wait for the flooding to subside.
- Trees are not safe during heavy hail, but buildings are. Drive under a shelter to help minimize damage to the vehicle; shelters include parking garages, overpasses, tunnels, and similar places.
- Set your headlights to low beams and drive slowly. Driving in hail is similar to driving in the rain, but the ice has a greater chance of causing damage (including smashing windows) and can be difficult to drive on, particularly when thick.
- Be aware that larger vehicles are more affected by the wind than smaller ones, and allow extra room around other vehicles. It may be difficult for drivers to maintain a straight heading; the winds may push them towards other lanes, and remaining close can significantly increase the chances of a collision.
- Much like earthquakes, is is often important to drive slower during high winds. Sudden changes in wind speed can cause you to over-correct your speed or heading, so drive slow to reduce the chance of swerving off the road or into another vehicle.
by Abby on September 17, 2016