5 Debunked Severe Weather Driving Myths with image of lighting and storm clouds

Stay safe and avoid driving during severe weather

Debunked Severe Weather Driving Myths 

There are so many facts and myths circulating the Internet about how to drive in severe weather.  However, not everything you read about severe weather driving is accurate.  That’s why we went ahead and debunked severe weather driving myths that will only confuse you. 

lightning bolt coming from a storm cloudMYTH: Your car protects you from lightning. 

There are many people that believe that the rubber in a vehicle’s tires will act as an insulator so if the vehicle is struck by lightning, it won’t reach the earth and you’ll be safe inside.  However, that is a myth and completely false.  If anything about a vehicle protects you from lightning, it is actually the metal frame since the electricity will travel around that and to the ground.  And when that happens, most likely your vehicle will be extremely damaged, and you should not touch any part of the car that is metal. 

MYTH: You can dodge and out-drive a tornado in your car. 

Since many enjoy watching storm chasers on TV, they also believe that they can out-maneuver and dodge a tornado.  However, a tornado is a formidable force of nature that can change direction spontaneously, destroy roads and thrown debris every-which way.  That tornado will block your way, take away your path of escape, send debris flying your way and even pick up your car and toss it away. 

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A large storm producing a Tornado causing destruction. Illustration.MYTH: Use your high beams when driving through fog. 

This is incredibly dangerous for both you and other drivers on the road.  The extra brightness from high beams will actually reduce your visibility even further, it won’t ‘cut’ through the fog like most think.  Plus, it will distract and possibly blind other drivers as well.  So, just use your normal headlights and drive slowly through fog. 

MYTH: Overpasses are a safe shelter during a tornado. 

If anything, an overpass will cause tornado winds to be even stronger and more concentrated.  And if the tornado is severe enough, it can damage the overpass, making it hazardous to anyone under it or near it.  The best option is to seek appropriate shelter and try to be below ground level if possible.  In fact, lying in a ditch with your hands protecting your head is much safer than an overpass—though it should only be done in emergency circumstances. 

MYTH: Bigger vehicles can drive through flood waters. 

Now, we can see why many drivers would believe this, although, it simply isn’t true.  In fact, just 6-inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control, stall or have other problems.  And 12-inches can cause most cars to float, and 2-feet of water can cause most SUVs and trucks to float.  Then, if the water is rapidly moving, your vehicle will be swept away, and you with it if you are in it. 

We hope this helps you stay safe while on the road this severe weather system.  Remember, if there is a warning in effect, it’s best to stay off the roads. 

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