Torque Tips | How to handle a hailstorm in South Africa

How to handle a hailstorm in South Africa

-be prepared, be safe-

Although we live in a country that isn’t faced with many natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis or horrific earthquakes we aren’t free from nerve-racking hailstorms. This downpour of frozen water can be detrimental and so it’s of utmost importance to take it into serious consideration and also all to the necessary precaution. Just by reading this Torque Tip, you are taking that first step so let us be your guide today. 

How can I prepare for a hailstorm? 

  • The best thing to do is to ensure that you have a financial aid that will help you in the aftermath of a hailstorm. One way would be to take out a comprehensive vehicle insurance cover. Once you do, be sure to go through the policies terms and conditions along with what they are willing to pay in the case of hail damage, annually. 
  • Then there are other personal measures you could take such as buying a protective cover if your vehicle isn’t being parked in an enclosed area. You could also watch the news or download a weather app that will help you predict a hailstorm before it presents itself unexpectedly. 

Driving in a hailstorm: 

  • If you find yourself on the road amidst a hailstorm you should firstly put on your low-beam headlight to make it easier for other motorists to spot your vehicle. You should then also immediately lower your speed and look out for other motorists and objects on the road that might be hard to see. This reduction in speed is to prevent you from slipping on the ice-layer created by the hail and also to increase your following distance. 
  • Driving in a hailstorm can be a stressful situation and most people would bite the bullet and try to get out of it ASAP. The truth is that you are putting your safety at risk and you are inevitably causing more damage. Your smartest move would be to search for a safe-zone like a petrol station or an underground mall parking until it passes. 
  • Then of course if you know that the nearest safe-haven is too far away and you are forced to stop on the side of the road, remember to avoid ditches due to the ice and water build-up. The most important thing to remember is to have your vehicle faced in such a manner that the hail impacts your windscreen because your windscreen is designed to resist a hard impact and can, therefore, withstand hard hail better than any other window on your vehicle. 

Lastly, remember to remain inside your vehicle and to wait it out before you cause more damage and danger and then to notify a family member or friend of your current location, safe driving. 

Written by: Ashley Roos