Frozen rain falling from the sky can be worrisome to just about any vehicle owner. In fact, damage from hail causes around 1 billion dollars’ worth of damage and insurance claims per year. The damage caused by hail can range from minor dings to your vehicle’s exterior to large-scale dents and broken glass depending on the size of the hailstones falling. You want to protect yourself and your vehicle from the effects of this precarious precipitation. Learn how to prepare for a hail storm and what you can do to protect your vehicle and yourself in the event that hail begins to fall.
How to Protect Car from Hail
Be Prepared – The best way to protect your vehicle from this destructive weather phenomenon is to know that a storm is headed your way, ahead of time. Knowing that a hail storm is in the forecast may help you and give you time to seek shelter before it starts coming down. Watch the weather reports on television, get a home weather station, and install a weather app on your phone and turn on notifications for weather events occurring in your area. You won’t have to worry when the storm arrives, as you’ll already be prepared!
Pull Over – If you have a garage and you’re able, park your car in the garage. If you are unable to park in your garage or you are away from home, find a place to take cover. If you’re on the road, find cover under a freeway overpass, parking garage, or under a gas station canopy. If you are able, angle your vehicle or change the direction that you are driving into the direction of the falling hail. Your windshield is made to withstand the force of falling hail, but other windows are not. When finding cover simply isn’t available, you can park your vehicle beside a large building to shield your car from the storm. Don’t just park anywhere, however. Park the vehicle in an area in the opposite direction from where the storm is traveling. For example, if the storm is coming from the west, park on the east side of the building. Depending on the force of the hail, it may miss your vehicle entirely.
Stay In Your Car – In severe hailstorms, it’s best to stay where you are and cover yourself with a blanket or loose clothing to prevent debris or broken glass from hitting you in the event that your window does break. Do not, under any circumstances, get out of your car during a hail storm. Hailstones fall rapidly and can cause severe injury. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, a hailstone the size of a baseball will fall at a speed comparable to what a baseball pitcher might throw, about 100 MPH.
Cover Up – Car covers made specifically for your make and model are available to protect against just about everything including hail. Inflatable covers, portable car covers, and hail blankets for cars are ideal for protecting your vehicle specifically from damages caused by hail. If you don’t have a cover for your vehicle, blankets can help to cushion the blow from falling hailstones and prevent broken window glass, scratches, and dents. Be sure to cover the whole car—the more blankets you can use, the better. Secure the blankets with duct tape to the underside of your car to keep them from blowing away. No blanket? In a pinch, you can use your floor mats. While they won’t be able to protect the whole car, they will certainly help!
When the Rain Falls
Sometimes rain turns to hail, and hail gradually turns back to rain. No matter what precipitation is falling, be sure you have functioning windshield wipers. If you’re not comfortable driving in heavy rain, delay your plans and wait until the weather lets up. It’s better to arrive a bit late and safe than the alternative. There is never any reason to put yourself in unnecessary danger. Because it is not always easy to stay home or at the office during a storm, being cautious and prepared is the key to a safe arrival.
Ensure your vehicle is prepared for driving in all wet weather conditions by making sure your windshield wipers work, tires are in good condition, and all lights and turn signals are working. When driving, turn on your headlights for safety, brake lightly when slowing down or coming to a stop, and avoid driving into large puddles. Sometimes rain causes the outside temperature to drop causing your windows to fog up. Use your defroster to avoid obstructing your view of the road.
Regular car maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure your car is up to the challenge in any weather condition. With the help of Sun Auto Service, you can be confident knowing your vehicle is prepared to handle whatever you encounter on the road. There’s always a Sun Auto Service near you! Visit any of our convenient locations to keep your vehicle in the very best condition no matter the weather.