It’s spring in Texas, which means people are planning road trips, planting new gardens, enjoying the sunshine—and watching out for sudden storms. Everyone knows that storms in Texas can become violent, spawning tornadoes, flash floods, and hail, but do you know how to handle a hailstorm?
In an ideal world, you will never have to drive through a hailstorm. Hail falls extremely fast and can range in size from tiny little pebbles to tennis ball-sized, although most hail measures less than two inches. Still, falling from the sky gives hailstones the velocity to cause serious damage to cars.
- If you get caught in a hailstorm, try to pull over to the side of the road. Whatever you do, stay inside your car. If hail can cause damage to a car, think about what it can do to you! And while hail damage can be costly, medical bills can be equally so, so be smart about what you do.
- If you know a hailstorm is coming, cover your car the best you can if you can’t find shelter. Covering as much of your car as you can will help reduce the chances of dents and cracked glass. If you have nothing to cover your car, you can try using your floor mats. Something is better than nothing.
- For people who work at a tall office building, parking on the proper side of the building may also reduce the chance of your car getting directly struck. Figure out which direction the storm is coming in and park your car in the opposite side of the building. There is some chance that the building may deflect some of the hailstones.
- If you have to drive through a hailstorm, drive slowly and use low beams and emergency lights. Be careful for accidents and downed electrical wires. Do not park in ditches as usually hailstorms are accompanied by lots of rain, which can turn ditches into potential flood areas.
Hailstorms are scary, but even more so if you have to drive through one. Finding an awning or overhang can make all the difference. Be safe, plan ahead, and stay off the road if possible.