Thunderstorms can be powerful weather events that pose several hazards that can make driving incredibly dangerous. The safest plan of action for driving through a thunderstorm is to not drive at all. However, waiting out the storm is not always a viable option and you may have to get behind the wheel during the harsh weather.
Here are some of the hazards that a thunderstorm poses:
- Low visibility
- Reduced traction
- Puddles of standing water - There could be debris, potholes or other hazards under the water and with enough water it could take you off the road
- Lightning - A vehicle is considered a safe place for when lightning strikes, but it can still electrocute you if you are in contact with a part of the vehicle that will conduct electricity
- Flying debris - Strong winds can cause tree branches and other objects to damage your vehicle
Here are some tips for driving through a thunderstorm:
- Keep your windows up and doors shut
- Drive slowly and well below the speed limit
- Maintain a safe following distance while behind other vehicles
- Keep your headlights on for the duration of the storm
- Turn on hazard lights on if law permits - Certain states don't allow drivers to use their hazard lights, considering it a distraction, during a thunderstorm
- Avoid bridges - Bridges have a higher chance of collapse and have stronger cross winds
Thunderstorms are usually sudden and brief, but they can still create some of the most dangerous driving conditions imaginable. Not driving altogether is the safest option, but if you must drive through a thunderstorm these tips can help keep you safe.