Oklahoma is known for many great things but it’s also known for sudden severe weather conditions. Tornadoes and hail are not uncommon in certain seasons and it pays to know how to drive in all types of weather.
Obviously you should always check weather conditions and heed any warnings that are given. It’s not safe to drive when conditions are ripe for a tornado or your area is under a tornado watch. Tornadoes typically form during violent thunderstorms at times when the air is especially warm
and humid. Also avoid driving during flash floods and periods of hail.
Tornadoes can be tricky though due to their unpredictability. When thinking of a tornado you probably imagine a tall cloudy funnel twisting in the wind. What you might not realize is that tornadoes move super fast and erratically on land. They also pick things up and throw them creating projectiles with miles of range. Here are a few tips that could help you survive a sudden tornado sighting while driving.
First of all, if you see a tornado funnel cloud forming in the distance, change course and drive quickly to the nearest shelter. This can be a restaurant, gas station, or any other large building you can access. It’s best if the place you seek shelter in has no windows, a basement is safest. In the event there is not a close by safe shelter, pull completely off the road. Avoid tunnels and underpasses. They might seem like a safe place to stay put but a tunnel can actually make wind conditions worse and be more dangerous than being out in the open.
Try to pull into a ditch or other low point. You can stay in your car with your seatbelt on, duck your head and cover it with a blanket or coat if you have one available. Do not attempt to drive until the weather conditions have totally cleared. Try to get weather updates on your car radio or cell phone. It is important to pull over and take shelter if you suspect any severe weather conditions are imminent.