It may sound surprising, but there are approximately 3,000 hailstorms in the United States each year. The size of hail can widely vary – from golf-ball size to softball size. And when it starts building up size, hail can cause not just severe property and vehicle damage, but also bodily harm and even death. On average, hailstorms annually cause over $1 billion in damage to property, approximately 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths annually.
One of the most frightening places to be during a hailstorm is on the road in your car. Obviously your vehicle is at great risk of damage, but even more importantly, you are in danger in the event you can’t see well enough to drive or your windows are broken in by the power of the storm.
Here are some pointers for navigating a hailstorm while on the roads!
- Make sure you have a blanket in your car at all times. It can help protect you from glass injuries in the event the hail breaks your windows or windshield.
- Turn on your low-beam headlights, and slow down.
- Make sure you have more distance than usual in front of you so you have ample space to brake if necessary.
- Turn on the local weather radio station to stay apprised of the status of storms.
- If there is enough space on the shoulder of the road, pull over.
- Turn on your hazard lights, regardless of whether you are pulled over or moving slowly; this will help other vehicles to see you and avoid accidents.
- If there is a covered shelter to pull underneath, do so; this will reduce the damage sustained by your vehicle.
At Mitchell & Mitchell we hope you stay hailstorm-free this winter!