It’s fairly common for fleet drivers to underestimate the damage that a severe hail storm can cause, particularly those drivers who have lived primarily in regions known for mild weather. But a hail storm is capable of causing major personal injuries and costly vehicle damage in a matter of minutes.
On Sept. 29, for example, a hail storm ripped through Centennial, Colo., and damaged countless unprotected vehicles, ensuring local body shops plenty of work for the coming weeks. To view a local news segment on that storm’s damage, click on the photo or link above.
Here are some safety tips, primarily from Progressive Insurance, which you can pass along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder:
- Always check the weather forecast before proceeding with road trip plans. If a hail storm is forecast, park your vehicle in a garage or under a covered structure to protect against damage.
- Stay inside once the hail storm begins. Falling hail can easily cause injury.
- If you unexpectedly drive into a hail storm, look for a covered structure where you can safely park. If no covered structure is available, park in the safest possible place to prevent hail from breaking the windows. Keep in mind that driving compounds hail’s impact with your vehicle. Stopping under an overpass is one option. Don’t forget to pull out of traffic lanes and onto a shoulder. Avoid ditches because of possible high-rising water.
- Keep your vehicle angled so any falling hail hits the front, rather than the back or sides, of the vehicle. Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and pelting objects. Side windows and back glass are not, so they’re more prone to breakage.
- Lie down, if possible, and keep your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, cover yourself to prevent possible debris from hitting you.
If you have any more advice related to hail storms, please leave a comment.