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Tips for driving in severe weather from AAA

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Southwest Virginia is no stranger to severe weather, but that doesn't mean life stops during a storm. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to drive in severe weather, here are some tips to stay safe from AAA. 

What does a tornado warning mean? 

A tornado warning means a twister is developing or is actually on the ground in your area. This is more severe than a tornado watch, which means conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather, which may create twisters. 

What do I do if I'm driving and a tornado warning is issued? 

Leave your car immediately and find shelter in a sturdy building. If there are no sturdy buildings near you, find a ditch, ravine or low-lying area and lie flat. Stay away from roadway overpasses. 

Should I try to outrun a tornado? 

No. Your car will offer you no protection, and it is impossible to predict in what direction a tornado will go. 

What is the best place to seek shelter? 

Basements, closets and small, interior rooms are the safest places. Stay away from all windows, and get under a solid piece of furniture or a mattress if possible. Do not seek shelter in a mobile home, as they offer little protection, even if they are tied down.  

Here are some other tips to stay safe: 

  • Wet roads mean poor traction. Conditions are most dangerous during the first 10 minutes of a heavy downpour. 
  • Be wary of large trucks during high wind conditions. Give them plenty of room. 
  • Turn on your hazard lights. 
  • Keep your mobile phone charged. 
  • Remember to use your headlights and hazards. 
  • If a traffic signal is out, treat it is a four-way stop. 
  • Turn around, don't drown. Never drive through standing water. 
  • As always, buckle up and drive distraction free.