With a warmer-than-usual spring upon us in many parts of Australia, we’ve already started to see some unstable weather hitting. So, preparing for what may lie ahead this storm season, like hailstorms, is a good idea.
Hailstorms can result in damage to property, especially cars. The impact of hail stones can damage your car exterior, side and rear windows, and windscreen.
According to a recent report from the Insurance Australia Group (IAG), hailstorms are likely to become more frequent and intense in Australia due to climate change, with large parts of southern and eastern Australia most at risk.
With that in mind, you’re probably wondering what you can do or use to keep your vehicle safe in a hailstorm.
Here are some ways to help protect your car from hail and potentially prevent the resulting vehicle repair costs if you happen to be where one hits.
4 tips to keep your car safe from hail damage
Thousands of Australian vehicles are damaged by hail every year. Depending on your circumstances, there are a range of options to help protect your car and keep it safe in the event of a hailstorm:
1. Check the weather forecast.
Prevention is better than a cure! Weather forecasts aren’t iron-clad but can often predict severe weather like hailstorms. Checking a dedicated app or website like the BOM Weather App can help you remain alert and aware, giving you more time to prepare or get undercover.
If your local council provides a weather alert system via SMS, it’s also worth signing up for. Plus, it’s handy to keep an eye (and an ear) on the news throughout the day, too.
2. Avoid driving during a hailstorm.
Driving during a hailstorm can be dangerous.
Not only can it be challenging to see, but the hailstones may cause damage to the body of your car, its windows or the windscreen. When going on an extended trip, always check the weather forecast to ensure no hailstorms are scheduled for when you’ll be on the road.
3. Park your car undercover.
The best way to protect your car from hail is to park your car in a secure undercover location, like a garage or carport. But this is not always possible.
If hail starts raining down while you’re on the road, help keep yourself safe by slowing down, turning your headlights on, and driving cautiously to a nearby covered car park or anywhere with some cover. If no shelter is around, when safe to do so, pull over to the side of the road and wait inside your car for the hail to stop. Make sure you don’t park your car under trees, by power lines, or near bodies of water that might flood during the storm. Stay aware of your surroundings and take the necessary steps to keep safe.
4. Use a hail car cover or blankets.
As the name suggests, a hail cover is designed to cover your car and reduce the impact of hail damage on the vehicle. While a hail cover may not completely prevent damage, it may reduce the severity of the impact that hail stones can cause.
Ideally, a hail cover should only be used as a last-minute option if proper shelter is unavailable. In place of a hail cover, another option is to use large, thick blankets draped over the car to minimise the damage done.
If nothing else is available, you can always use the car floor mats from your car to cover your windscreen glass, which may be the difference between being able to drive your vehicle or not.
Please remember that if you are caught up in a hailstorm, and your vehicle glass does get damaged, it can be dangerous to drive your vehicle as your vision may be impaired.
Call your O’Brien® AutoGlass experts
Keeping an eye on the weather can go a long way in helping to protect and maintain your vehicle glass. In the unfortunate event of sustaining damage to your glass from hail, or you’re worried about a chip or a crack, the expert team at O’Brien® AutoGlass will make it easy with our in-branch or mobile service.
At O’Brien®, we have specialist technicians who can assist you whether you need a chip repair or a windscreen replacement. Not only does our vehicle glass comply with Australian and international standards, but no matter what make or model your car is, you can depend on us and drive away knowing the job has been done right.