Most motorists have been there on the road when the weather suddenly changes, and the heavens open. It can be rather worrying, with visibility severely reduced and your car looking more like a boat ploughing through water. But there are some safety tips to follow when we find ourselves in a storm.1
What’s the weather like on the road ahead?
Before embarking on a journey, check the weather for where you are headed. Avoiding a storm is much better than having to fight your way through one. But, sometimes, we are on our way to a very important meeting, and so we must somehow manage a storm.
What you need to find out before the time
Are you likely to encounter hail or strong crosswinds while travelling towards your destination? Are there any low-lying bridges that may be flooded? What about the road’s condition? It’s difficult to spot potholes while it’s raining as the water fills them up. Hitting a pothole could prove disastrous for your car’s suspension or tyres.
Avoid driving during severe weather if possible
Ideally, it would be best to avoid driving during severe weather conditions by checking what the weather is like beforehand. For example, avoid travelling in a soft-top or car without a roof as extreme storm conditions, including hail and lightning, could pose a greater danger to the motorist and passengers than if your car had a metal roof.
Have you checked the car lately?
Most motorists neglect to check their car’s condition regularly, but that doesn’t make it less critical. On your checklist could be wipers, brakes, headlights, taillights and the condition of your tyres. If they are smooth with the tyre tread depth being less than the legal limit of 1 mm, the car is non-roadworthy. If you have an accident, the insurer may reject your claim. Smooth tyres can cause your car to hydroplane dangerously on top of the water, causing loss of control. Lastly, are you sure your vehicle is adequately protected with car insurance?
Fill up with fuel
Before leaving for your trip, ensure you have enough fuel to get you there safely. Please don’t cut it fine because you may have to do extra mileage in the case of a lengthy detour.
Have you told someone about your trip?
It’s vital to inform your immediate family or those at the destination of your plans and expected time of arrival. Then, if anything happens to you, someone can start searching for you.
Check your cell phone
Ensure you have all the required emergency telephone numbers on your cell phone and that the battery is fully charged. If necessary, check with your insurer if your policy provides you with 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services.
These are some helpful safety tips to follow, but most importantly, you also need to ensure your car is covered for hail damage and other possible damage that bad weather could cause. Do you currently have the car insurance cover you need with an affordable premium? Contact PMD, and find out more about affordable car insurance products with unique benefits like fixed premiums* and a reduce to zero excess*. T’s and C’s apply?
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.