When you live in Denver, Colorado it is a matter of when not if you will get caught in a hail storm. What you may not realize is that hail and tornadoes go hand in hand so there are some pretty important tips on driving in a Denver hail storm you should be aware of. Some of it is pretty widely known and has to do with driving in severe weather in general–but hail can be golf ball sized here and come with a tornado right behind it–so knowing what to do ahead of time could save your life.
First Steps When Your Car Is Caught In a Hailstorm
- Find a SAFE place to pull over: With the Denver sky raining down buckets of golf ball-sized hail at your car you may be tempted to swerve off the road and stop dead in your tracks. Not a great idea. Stay calm, use your signals and find a smart place to stop, out of the way of traffic. Places like an underpass or an exit that will get you to a place of shelter are what you should be looking for. Avoid ditches as they can cause damage to your car and may become flooded if torrential rains occur.
- Stay In Your Vehicle: During light hail, we often tell people to get their car covered with a blanket or car mats to protect it. However, you must understand hail storms can go from bad to worse in a heartbeat. If you find yourself pulled over on a highway, street or underpass remember–visibility is low for everyone and you are risking getting hit if you leave your car. If you have found a safe place to pull over, stay in your vehicle. With diminished visibility, you are more likely to get hit.
- Listen To The Local Radio for Updates: Getting caught in a major hail storm in Denver is no joke. You may not realize it isn’t just hail but a tornado right on its heels. With that in mind, pull over, take shelter and listen to the radio to understand where you are compared to the storm front. Just because the hail stops, does not mean you are not still in danger so be sure to listen to updates on the radio and/or keep a close eye on your phone’s weather app.