If you live in an area where frequent hailstorms occur, you probably already do everything you can to protect your car before the storms arrive. Even with your best efforts, you may get caught in an unexpected storm while you are driving. According to the National Weather Service, it takes a hailstone the size of a golf ball to cause significant vehicle hail damage. If caught in a storm, it’s important to prioritize both your safety as well as the condition of your vehicle. Here are three tips for reducing the hail damage to your vehicle while driving, and how to take action after the storm passes.

Get to Safety

If you are caught in a hailstorm while driving, it’s important to stay calm and find a safe sheltered place to pull over to avoid significant vehicle hail damage. Since wind can blow the hail stones sideways or at an angle, it’s best to pull into a parking garage for shelter. However, finding an immediately accessible parking garage can sometimes be a challenge. As a backup option, look for an overpass or other similar structures where you can safely park away from traffic. This can help prevent additional hail damage to your vehicle’s metal panels, windshields and windowpanes.

Park at an Angle and Protect Yourself

Once you have found a safe place to park, stop your car at an angle. This will make it more likely that any dents from hail will be targeted towards the front of the vehicle. Though this may seem counterintuitive, your windshield is more capable handling impacts than other windows. If large enough, hail stones can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Even so, you are safer inside your vehicle than outside and unprotected. If the hailstorm is severe, lie down in your vehicle and cover yourself with a blanket or other similar covering if you can to protect yourself in the event of broken glass.

Inspect for Auto Hail Damage and Seek Prompt Repairs

After the storm, inspect your car for hail damage in decent lighting. If you notice any dents, you’ll need to have your vehicle fixed or risk driving with a reduced vehicle value. Those with a comprehensive coverage under their auto insurance policy can file a hail damage repair claim to have their damaged assessed and estimated to receive compensation for repairs. It’s advisable to receive a professional estimate from a local paintless dent repair (PDR) shop, which offers repair solutions that restore vehicle value and appearance quickly and cost-effectively. While the assessment and repairs process can seem time-consuming and difficult, there are many PDR shops that offer free estimates and help customers navigate the hail damage repair claims process from start to finish.

It can be a challenge to prevent damage to your vehicle if you live in a hail-prone area. By following these tips, you can significantly minimize the extent of potential damage and save yourself time and money. If you have vehicle hail damage, contact your local Dent Shop today to inquire about a free estimate for our paintless dent repair services. Our team of certified PDR technicians can efficiently assess and repair your vehicle and quickly get you back out on the road again.