56.1 F
Friday, March 5, 2021

In Your Car When Severe Weather Strikes? AAA Kansas Offers Tips for Staying Safe

Sports Headlines

Sub-State Action Continues As Area Teams Punch Their Ticket To The Championships

Thursday night semifinals in sub-state basketball saw the Hanover Lady Wildcats advance over Blue Valley 72-38, while Wetmore held off Linn 34-30. Hanover and...

Jayhawks Use Big Second Half to Overcome UTEP, 67-62

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks overcame a 15-point second-half deficit to upend UTEP...

Kansas City Chiefs Announce Naming Rights Agreement For Arrowhead Stadium

Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs and GEHA (pronounced G.E.H.A.) today announced that GEHA will...

Sub-State Basketball Tournaments Continue For Area Teams; KNDY Broadcast Coverage Announced

Tuesday night sub-state basketball quarterfinals saw the Marysville boys team advance with a 57-48 win over Sabetha. Second seed Marysville will face 3rd seed...

Heights Boys Advance, Lady Bulldogs Fall In Sub-State Basketball Monday

Monday night sub-state basketball quarterfinals saw the Valley Heights Mustangs defeat the Washington County Tigers 50-39 in boys play. Valley heights will host top...
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

TOPEKA and WICHITA, Kan. – April 22, 2019 – It’s severe weather season. As many people in this part of the country are aware, strong thunderstorms and even tornadoes can strike quickly and fiercely. Dangerous, damaging storms can catch motorists on the roads, so AAA Kansas urges drivers and their passengers to be prepared and take appropriate safety precautions should they face severe weather while traveling in a vehicle.

“Storms are common across the Sunflower State throughout the spring and summer, so chances are, drivers will face storm-related challenges while in their vehicles,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas public affairs manager. “A vehicle can either be very dangerous or a place of safety, depending on the weather conditions. The key is being prepared for severe weather and reacting the right way to what Mother Nature throws at you.”

Heavy Rain and Flooding
Heavy downpours make it difficult to see while driving. AAA Kansas recommends regularly changing windshield wiper blades to keep drivers’ views as clear as possible. If visibility is severely limited during heavy rain, drivers should reduce their speed and if they can safely do so, pull off the road out of traffic lanes, turn on flashing hazard lights, and wait until the rain lightens.

Drivers should be reminded that it’s Kansas law that if windshield wipers are on, headlights should be as well. Headlights can help divers see better but also allow their vehicle to be seen by other drivers.

Pooling water on roadways can cause hydroplaning and loss of vehicle control, so motorists should reduce their speeds during rainy conditions. Roadways completely covered by water are a particular danger.

“Avoid driving in floodwater,” warned AAA Kansas’ Steward. “Flooding causes more deaths than any other storm-related event, and many of those deaths occur in vehicles. As little as 12 inches of moving water can sweep most vehicles off the road. The slogan ‘Turn around, don’t drown’ is an important one to remember and follow.”

Hailstorms hit with little warning and usually only last for about five minutes, but hailstones – frozen pellets of rain – can cause major damage in that short period of time.

There were 4,611 major hailstorms in the U.S. in 2018, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Most hailstones are about the size of a pea or marble, but they can get as large as a softball in a severe storm.

“Hail of most any size can dent your car, and larger stones can smash your windows,” said Gary Tomes, Insurance Manager for AAA Kansas. “And this is not an uncommon occurrence in Kansas. Fortunately, hail damage to a vehicle is covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy, which covers physical damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision.”

To protect your car from the inevitable Kansas hail storms, park your car in a covered spot whenever possible.

If you’re in your car when a hailstorm hits and see a safe place close-by, such as a highway overpass or gas station or bank awning, drive to it as soon as you can. If no shelter is available and hail becomes large enough to cause damage, stop driving and pull off the road completely. Move away from car windows and cover your head with your arms and hands to protect yourself from any breaking glass.

The National Weather Service reports that lightning strikes about 25 million times a year, killing an average of 49 people in the United States and severely injuring hundreds more.

If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm, seek shelter in a hard-topped vehicle, or a low area, such as a tunnel. If you are already in your car when a lightning storm begins, stay in the vehicle for shelter, but steer clear of fences, isolated trees, telephone poles, power lines and pipelines.

Lightning-caused damage to a vehicle is typically covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy, said AAA Kansas Insurance’s Tomes.
Thunderstorms can sometimes have other impacts to vehicles, including:

  • Damage caused by falling trees due to high winds. This kind of damage is typically covered by standard auto insurance policies. However, if the tree was known to be weak before the storm, the damage may not be covered.
  • A wildfire that results from a lightning storm can cause damage to cars. Insurance coverage for wildfire, even if caused by lightning, is included in the comprehensive coverage of an auto insurance policy.

NOAA reports that the United States is the most tornado-prone country in the world, with about 1,000 tornadoes touching down each year. There were 60 documented tornadoes in Kansas in 2017.

Tornado warnings mean danger is imminent. If a tornado has been sighted, move to the safest place possible.

“If you are in your car and a tornado is close, abandon the vehicle and seek shelter in a sturdy structure,” said AAA Kansas’ Steward. “If no structure is nearby, seek shelter in the nearest ditch. Lie flat, face-down on the ground, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from trees and cars.”

Emergency Kit
AAA Kansas recommends that motorists create a spring/summer severe weather emergency kit to carry in their cars. The kit should include items such as nonperishable food/snacks and water, tool kit, flashlight, hand-crank or battery-powered radio, extra batteries, cell phone and charger, first-aid supplies, flares or reflectors, rain coat or poncho, a towel or blanket, and rain boots or an extra pair of shoes.

Kansas Headlines

Kansas Senate Republicans Swiftly Shut Door On Proposed Medicaid Expansion Amendment

By Noah Taborda - Kansas Reflector TOPEKA — Efforts to expand Medicaid in Kansas were dealt a blow Wednesday after an amendment to do just...

Legislature Moves Quickly To Spare Kansas Towns From Financial Ruin Over Gas Bills

By Sherman Smith - Kansas Reflector TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers moved with lightning speed Wednesday to pass legislation providing $100 million in low-interest loans to...

Hearing for Proposed Adoption of Conservation Regulation

MANHATTAN, Kansas — A public hearing will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, to consider the revision of a regulation...

KDHE Launches Mobile Testing Unites

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is launching three mobile testing units for COVID-19 in order to expand testing access...

Some COVID-19 Tests Come With ‘Criminal’ Prices, Experts Say, So Get Tested For Free Instead

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen - Kansas News Service A year into the pandemic, COVID-19 testing has become easier to get — just not necessarily cheaper. If you...

Kansas News Service

Some COVID-19 Tests Come With ‘Criminal’ Prices, Experts Say, So Get Tested For Free Instead

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen - Kansas News Service A year into the pandemic, COVID-19 testing has become easier to get — just not necessarily cheaper. If you...

Investigation Continues After Three Wichita Police Officers Are Injured By Possible Booby Trap

By Tom Shine - Kansas News Service Local and federal authorities continue to investigate a shooting that injured three Wichita police officers. Police said the officers...

Kansas Customers Left To Pay The Price After Winter Storm Sends Natural Gas Prices Soaring

By Brian Grimmett - Kansas News Service WICHITA, Kansas — Last February, the city of Cheney, Kansas – located just west of Wichita – paid about $2 per...

Kansas Foster Care Providers Say They’ve Gotten Better, But Critics Say They Need To Do Better

By Nomin Ujiyediin - Kansas News Service The long-troubled foster care system in Kansas got hit with yet another complication over the last year. Pandemic complications...

Ex-KU Med Center Official Pleads Guilty To Tax And Embezzlement Charges

By Dan Margolies - Kansas News Service A former administrator at the University of Kansas Medical Center pleaded guilty on Tuesday to bank fraud and...