By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Have you ever been caught on the road during a barrage of hail or had to negotiate fallen trees and wet streets during a storm? It’s not common, but it does happen.
In November 2016, a hail storm ripped through South Australia, leaving millions of dollars’ worth of damage in its wake. Following the weather event, RAA assessed more than 4000 vehicle damage insurance claims.
It might’ve been a once-in-a-decade storm, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. Rain, hail or wind: you’ll want to make sure your car is safe next time a spring storm rolls through. Here are 4 measures you can implement to protect your vehicle in extreme weather.
Choosing where you park your vehicle could spare it from being hit by a falling tree or pelted by golf-ball sized hail.
- Park your vehicle in the garage or undercover. Consider going out before the storm arrives and parking your car in a sheltered spot while you’re shopping or at the movies.
- Park under trees or power lines – they both have a tendency to fall in windy conditions.
- Park near a creek, river, or in a spot that might be prone to flooding.
If you’re unable to park your vehicle under shelter to protect it during extreme weather, you might want to buy a hail-proof car cover. Practice fitting the cover beforehand, to make sure you can do it quickly when a storm’s approaching. If you’re in a hurry to protect your vehicle from an impending hail storm but don’t have a cover, safeguard your car with a tarp or thick blankets to prevent it from being damaged.
If you’re caught on the road as a storm approaches, don’t try to rush home. Doing so could put you in a dangerous situation, particularly if the roads are already wet and have debris on them. Instead, stay calm, drive to the conditions, look for shelter at a service station or shopping centre, and wait until the storm passes.
If extreme weather hits while you’re on the open road, slow down and, when possible and safe to do so, pull over to the roadside and keep your lights on to warn approaching motorists.
Having a set plan for when there’s a serious storm will help you remain calm and minimise the damage to both your vehicle and property.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast to know when you should cover your car or park it under shelter. You’ll also want to regularly clear any items from your yard that could become projectiles and damage your vehicle or home when it’s windy.