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Tornado tips for motorists

March 9, 2012

By Tracy Steffenson

With the unseasonably warm weather that has taken place this winter, we have seen some strong storms that have produced tornadoes. With spring weather arriving before the official start of Spring and the threat of tornadoes looming in the air with every storm AAA released a reminder of Tornado Tips for Motorist.

Each year, many Oklahoma motorists are unexpectedly caught in tornadic storms. AAA says there are important do’s and don’ts to be aware of should you be driving when a tornado warning is issued.

First off, A “tornado warning” means a twister is developing or is actually on the ground. It is more severe than a “tornado watch,” which means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms, which may or may not spawn twisters.

Never try to outrun a tornado. Your car or pickup will offer no protection from a twister. It is impossible to know which direction a tornado may decide to go.

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, leave your vehicle immediately and seek shelter.

Seek shelter indoors. A basement is safest. Closets or small interior rooms are best. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture and stay away from south and west walls and all windows.

If you are caught in the open, with no indoor buildings available to you, find a ditch, ravine or low-lying area and lie flat. Stay away from roadway overpasses!!!!

Do not seek shelter in a mobile home. These structures, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.

Remember, wet roads mean poor traction. Conditions are most dangerous during the first ten minutes of a heavy downpour as oil and debris wash away. Driving on wet roads in the rain is just like driving on ice. Slow down. Take it easy. Allow extra time to reach your destination.

And remember to never use your motor vehicle’s cruise control feature in rainy weather.

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