Be prepared in case of severe weather while on the road
With spring comes beautiful flowers, warmer temperatures and longer days, but the changing weather can also mean more severe storms. And severe storms can bring heavy rains, tornadoes, hail and strong winds, all of which can do a lot of damage to a car whether in motion or parked. Here are a few guidelines on what to do when you are driving and you get caught in severe weather.
Spring time or not, Florida gets storms that can bring in a lot of heavy rain. The two biggest risks to drivers in heavy rains are not being able to see and flooding in the streets. So if rain gets so heavy and you can not see, pullover. Never drive through standing water because you can never be sure of how deep it is. Not only can you get your car stuck in the water, fast moving water can cause a driver to lose control of their car or can carry a car away.
Also, be aware that driving with your hazard lights on is against the law. Instead of making it easier for others to see you, it actually makes it more difficult for other drivers to see around them. Furthermore, it is distracting and can mislead responding officers of of the actual location of an emergency.
Strong winds don’t just come from hurricanes and tornadoes, and as you can see in the video, they can really take control of a car. If you are driving in strong winds, keep both hands on the wheel so you can keep control of the car during gusts of winds. Keep your eyes focused on the road because large debris could have been blown into the road. And be sure to keep your speed down too, the faster you’re travelling the further off-course you’re likely to drift in a sudden gust before you get the vehicle back under control.
Tornadoes and Twisters
Florida doesn’t have nearly as many springtime tornadoes as the Plain states. There are a lot of drivers who probably don’t know what to do in case of a tornado in their path while they are in their car. An EF-1 tornado can push a moving car off the road and an EF-2 tornado can pick a car off the ground.
What to do if you see a twister in your path? Here is what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends:
If you can drive away from the tornado, do so. On average, tornadoes move at 35 – 45 MPH, so driving away would be the first course of action. If you can’t drive away, seek shelter in a nearby and well-built structure (like a house).
If there is no building, stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible. As a last resort, if you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. NEVER seek shelter under a bridge or overpass.
But most importantly, always be sure of the weather conditions before you go on a trip. If the weather is forecasted to be severe, it may be best to avoid driving.