Even though the Midwest gets some of the coldest temperatures during the winter, many residents agree that summer is one of the most dangerous seasons of the year. Not only is there a significantly higher motor vehicle related fatality rate between June and August, but there is a good chance many homeowners might lose their homes from a chaotic natural disaster.
While most tornado activity is at its peak during the early summer months, there have still been recent sightings in South Dakota and Wyoming in late July. It's crucial for drivers to find the closest shelter to them to take cover until the storm dissipates. However, once you get word that the storm is gone, that doesn't mean the danger isn't. There are still several hazards you need to prepare yourself for as you begin heading home.
Avoid significantly damaged areas
Unfortunately, your typical route home might not be the safest road back if a tornado went through the area. Be on the lookout for any downed power lines, fallen trees or sharp debris from houses and vehicles that could end up in your lane. If you find that you risk possible electrocution or vehicle damage, turn around and try to find an alternate route using your GPS or phone.
Keep in mind the roads are still wet
Many tornadoes are usually accompanied by heavy thunderstorms and hail. It may even still be raining by the time you hear it's safe to drive home. Regardless whether it's pouring or not, make sure to drive slower to avoid the risk of hydroplaning on the wet streets and give yourself enough distance for the vehicles ahead of you.
Watch out for reckless drivers
It's understandable why so many motorists panic after a tornado strikes their area. They want to get home as fast as they can to see if their families are safe and their homes are still standing in one piece. Unfortunately, they fail to consider standard safety procedures and the other drivers on the road. If you notice some motorists that are in too much of a hurry, don't be afraid to let them pass you. It's better if you try to separate yourself from them as soon as you can.
While performing all of these driving tasks won't fully guarantee a safe drive home, it can drastically reduce the risks. If you still end up in a crash despite all the precautions you took on the road, contact a motor vehicle accident attorney to help you with even more post-storm costs you might have to pay.