If a serious storm is about to set in, then the chances are that your thoughts will first turn to your loved ones, followed by hasty plans to protect your home and possessions. During extreme weather, there’s a high possibility that your car could be seriously damaged, and where such an expensive asset is concerned, it pays to take precautions. Use the following five tips from the Caldwell Toyota Scion team to help protect your vehicle during a serious storm.
- Plan ahead. If you can plan ahead, then the best protection is certainly prevention. If you know that a serious storm is coming, then you should do your utmost to ensure that your car is off the road and under cover. That may mean delaying a trip, taking a diversion or using other modes of transport, but if you can avoid exposing your car to extreme weather, then you should always do so.
- Look for shelter. If you get caught in a serious storm, you need to think about getting your car and its occupants in a safe spot. Look for large, robust shelter where your car is really shielded from the weather. A covered, multi-storey car park is a good choice, or underneath a bridge/in a tunnel. In the absence of anything so robust, look for any form of shelter that you can find, such as a service station awning. Any cover will hopefully prevent damage from debris. Never shelter under trees, which could easily fall in a storm and crush your car.
- Never try to outrun the storm. If you are driving your car when a serious storm breaks, you should attempt to leave the road as soon as possible. Never try to outrun the storm or speed up to escape it, as you are greatly increasing the chances of having an accident. Turn on your lights to increase visibility and to ensure that other road users can see you. Pull well off the road, if you can, to reduce the risk of other cars hitting your vehicle.
- Be wary of water. Puddles can appear to be deceptively shallow, when in fact there is a serious risk that the water could be in a very deep hole. This could spell disaster for your car. Avoid puddles and standing water as much as possible, particularly on unfamiliar roads. Always ensure that you allow plenty of time to brake, as your stopping distance may be decreased by the surface water.
- Remove exterior items. Exterior items on your car can easily be damaged or ripped off in strong winds, and even seemingly small, innocuous parts can be very expensive to replace. Common issues occur with radio antennae, magnetic signs, and other temporary items, which you should remove as soon as possible. Not only could these items damage your car, they could hit a pedestrian or another car.