It’s April, which means we are transitioning to spring… and storm season. How can you prepare and stay safe?

One of the best ways to maintain your safety, is to be aware of inclement weather. Use the following tips to plan your day:

  1. Integrate checking the weather into your everyday morning routine.
  2. If there is inclement weather in your path, reroute, give yourself extra time, or postpone your trip as necessary.
  3. Stay hyper-aware of other drivers on the roads.
  4. Be attentive to weather, and check in to keep updated on any changes.

Planning ahead is one step of the process. It is also crucial to understand how to analyze weather forecasts. Make sure you understand how to read a doppler radar, so you can track the direction of the storm (here’s a great resource, if you need to review: Reading Weather Radars). Know the difference between storm watches and warnings:

Watches are issued when severe conditions are favorable or expected, but are not ongoing or imminent.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Tornado Watch
Conditions are favorable and/or expected for the development of severe thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm can produce hail at least 1” in diameter and winds up to or greater than 58 mph. Conditions are favorable and/or expected for the development of thunderstorms severe enough to produce tornadoes.

 

Warnings are issued when severe conditions are ongoing or imminent.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Tornado Warning
A severe thunderstorm is current, ongoing, and/or imminent. A severe thunderstorm can produce hail at least 1” in diameter and winds up to or greater than 58 mph. A severe thunderstorm is current, ongoing, and/or imminent and (1) has produced a tornado or (2) the radar reflects intense, low-level rotation in the presence of atmospheric conditions, favorable for tornado development.

 

We’ve compiled a list of tips for some of the following weather events that will occur this season.

Extreme Wind

  • Be aware of your weight and do not overcorrect when it shifts.
  • Balance the load you are carrying to center your gravity.

Heavy Rain and/or Hail

  • Slow down and make sure your lights are on to maximize visibility.
  • Don’t sacrifice your life for a load: get off the road if you can’t see.

Severe Thunderstorms & Tornadoes

  • Get off the road, and seek shelter immediately in a sturdy building, underground if possible.
  • If you cannot find shelter, park the truck out of the way of traffic lanes. Stay in your vehicle, with the seat belt fastened, and put your head down below the windows. Leave the truck on so the airbags function as needed. Cover yourself with blankets or clothing for cushion.
  • If you can get somewhere noticeably lower than the roadway (i.e. a ditch), leave your vehicle and lay in the area and cover yourself.
  • Avoid taking shelter under bridges! These do not provide proper protection and can expose you to flying debris.

In all bad-weather scenarios, remember:

  1. Obey the law. Don’t speed, don’t deviate, and pay attention.
  2. Keep your vehicle in your control. Decrease speed, increase follow distance, and keep two hands on the wheel.
  3. Make sure your vehicle is maintained. The last thing you want is a breakdown in the middle of a storm.

Is your vehicle maintained and ready to fight the storm? Find out by visiting one of our twenty dealerships in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. A pristine vehicle, along with these helpful tips, will ensure your safety on the long haul this season!