On Nov. 27, the Texas Department of Insurance hosted its first “War on Hail” Conference, focusing on the astounding impact that the state’s hail storms have on property loss and insurance claims. But the destructive effects of hail storms certainly aren’t unique to the state of Texas. Hail storms can occur in any state, so it’s important that all fleet drivers know what to do if they encounter one unexpectedly.

Progressive Insurance offers these safety tips on what to do if you drive into a hail storm:

• Stay inside the vehicle. Hail falls at fast speeds, and it can cause injury to those in its path.

• Stop driving and pull to a safe place so hail doesn't break the windshield or any windows. Driving compounds hail's impact with your car. Stop under an overpass, and don't forget to pull out of traffic lanes and onto a shoulder. Avoid ditches due to possible high-rising water.

• Keep your car angled so the hail is hitting the front of your car. Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and pelting objects. Side windows and backglass are not, so they're much more susceptible to breakage.

• Lie down, if possible, and keep your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, cover yourself with it to prevent possible debris from hitting you.

Click here for some additional tips from The Weather Channel.

Click here to view a National Geographic video of a drive through a hail storm in Oklahoma. (The video crew members didn’t follow our safety tips, but they did capture some scary footage of being pelted by hail stones.)

To learn more about what causes hail storms, click here