YOU have to be extra careful if you’re driving in extreme weather conditions.
Whether that’s slowing down or planning your journey, here are some tips on how to stay safe while driving in bad weather.
Is driving safe during a thunderstorm?
Driving in any extreme weather is not a good idea.
When travelling in a thunderstorm there is a risk of sudden gusty winds and heavy rain.
Some vehicles in particular are most at risk such as cyclists, motorcyclists and high sided vehicles.
Weather conditions can make driving more dangerous due to hazards such as possible flooded or muddy roads, or streets blocked by debris.
If you are caught out and about in thunder and lightning the Met Office advises that you wind up the windows and stay inside your car.
It is also vital that you keep your speed down on wet and windy conditions as lowering your speed will lower the distance you travel when pushed around by the wind.
Heavy rain will restrict your visibility, so your windshield wipers and headlights are a necessity.
Make sure you don’t drive too closely to other road users as it is harder to slow down and stop in these conditions.
In extreme conditions, it is recommended to pull off to the side of the road in a safe manner, turn on the hazard lights, turn off the engine, put your hands in your lap, and wait out the storm.
Is it safe to be in a car during a thunderstorm?
Some people are under the impression that due to having rubber types in a car, you are safe.
However, this is not correct.
You’re actually safe in a car because the lightning will travel around the surface of the vehicle and then go to the ground.
What happens if a car is struck by lightning?
The majority of cars are made with a metal roof and frame.
This means the frame acts as a conductive Faraday cage, passing the current around the passengers inside and on to the ground.
But this isn’t to say that damage can’t be caused both internally and externally by a lightning strike.
What is a Faraday cage?
A Faraday cage is a metal cage that shields objects inside when hit by a high potential discharge, like lightning.
Michael Faraday, a British physicist created the concept after finding that a metal cage, being a good conductor, would direct the current around the objects and discharge it safely to the ground.
This process of shielding is often used today.
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