By Taylor Swyers
It is preferable to refrain from driving in a thunderstorm or tornado, but sometimes life and timing make that impossible. Thunderstorms often occur during the spring and summer; check the radar during these months to avoid getting caught in a storm. If circumstances find you out on the road in these conditions, here are some tips on responding to the situation.
• Thunderstorms are typically brief, so try and wait it out on the side of the road if you can. If you decide to pull over, lock your doors and ensure your windows are shut. You should have your hazards lights switched on so that other people can see you on the side of the road.
• Drive very slowly. The rain can make it difficult for your car to see and maintain traction on the road. Try to keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.
• Turn your car lights on. It can be challenging to see while driving in a thunderstorm. With this being said, use caution while using your brights. Be mindful of other people on the road. Flashing your brights can make it difficult for other drivers to see and cause distractions.
• Make sure you know hazard light laws in your state. According to the American Safety Council, it is illegal to drive with your hazards on in the rain in some states.
• Some people think they can outdrive a tornado; do not try this! It is impossible to predict where the tornado might go, so you might think you are driving away from it when you are actually driving towards it. According to the American Safety Council, the faster you drive, the easier it is for the tornado to lift your car.
• The safest thing is to not drive on the road at all. Seek shelter and pull over. If there are buildings around you, choose to go into one that seems the safest. The safest would be one low to the ground, with very few levels and windows.
• If you cannot find a building to seek shelter, lie on the ground and cover your head with your hands.
• Overall, if you find yourself stuck on the road during a tornado, try your hardest to seek shelter indoors. Find the lowest point on the ground, lie down, and cover your head if you cannot.