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17 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR DRIVING IN SEVERE WEATHER

Thunder and Lightning

  1. Remember that flashes of lightning can blind you and make it difficult to see hazards. As with the winds that may accompany it, slowing down will help, and so will pulling to the side of the road and turning on the emergency flashers. This will help ensure that other drivers can see your vehicle.
  2. Furthermore, you should remain inside your vehicle and avoid touching metal. Cars are actually a very safe place to be during a thunderstorm, especially if parked, even if lightning hits the vehicle.
  3. Do not remain under trees. They can be struck by lightning and collapse on top of your vehicle; it is much safer to be in the open, even if there is a higher risk of the vehicle being struck by lightning.

Tornadoes

  1. Do not drive during tornado conditions. Tornadoes can easily lift vehicles into the air and fling them considerable distances. However, if you are already driving when the conditions begin, then...
  2. Do not attempt to drive away from a tornado. They can change speed and direction very quickly. It is much safer to abandon the vehicle and get as low as possible, preferably into a ditch or other area below ground-level. Some forms of severe weather can be driven in, but tornadoes are not one of them.

Winter Weather

  1. Ice can make it difficult to see, so clean the windows. Do not use hot water to melt the ice; it may re-freeze. Instead, use a scraper or defrosting chemical, and heat the inside of the vehicle. This may fog up the windows, but they should be clear by the time you begin driving.
  2. Remember that snow and ice can make gripping the road difficult, but you can drive only as fast as is safe. This may be only a few miles per hour. You may also have chains or studded tires that can help with driving on ice but it is best to assume they do not work perfectly and take the necessary precautions.

In All Circumstances

  1. Avoid downed power lines. You should always assume that the wire is live, and stepping on the ground near a downed wire can be extremely dangerous. If you have the contact information for your local electrical department, you may wish to inform them of the downed line so they can take care of it as soon as possible.
  2. During most forms of severe weather, turn on the radio when it is safe to do so. There should be an emergency channel that will provide information on where storms are headed, what areas are dangerous, and similar items that will be important to know.
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