OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It is springtime in Oklahoma, which means that severe storms may appear in the forecast.
Meteorologists try to give as much warning as possible for severe weather, but you may still be caught by surprise.
Trooper Eric Foster, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, has a few tips to keep yourself safe if you are on the road when severe weather strikes.
Driving in a hail storm
If you are driving and large hail begins to fall from the sky, Trooper Foster says you should not pull over under an underpass.
“I know that you want to protect the vehicle, things like that, but it’s very dangerous for other moving traffic. What you need to do is as soon as you can, get off of the roadway. Pull as far to the right as you can or exit the interstate system, but don’t stop on the roadway, don’t stop under an underpass where it can be very dangerous,” he said.
Trooper Foster says that while you may be concerned about protecting your car from hail damage, the hail is also limiting the visibility for other drivers. In the end, he says they may not be able to see you pulled over and you could end up in a wreck.
Heavy hail storm
In some cases, hail will come down in waves that coat the roadway.
Foster says when that happens, you should treat it like a winter weather event.
“You’ve got to create distance between you and other vehicles,” he said.
Trooper Foster says drivers need to slow down, pay attention, and get off the interstates.
Driving in flash flooding
If heavy rain starts pouring down during your drive home, you should slow down to prevent hydroplaning.
“If it rains real hard, a lot of these vehicles any more, their air intake is from the bottom of the vehicle, you can flood out a car very quickly. So don’t drive into water at all and slow down if there’s ponding on the roadway,” said Trooper Foster.