How To Be Safe On The Road During Tornado Season

Tornadoes can cause serious danger to anyone caught in their path, but especially to truck drivers, who are constantly on the road and may have difficulty finding shelter in time. The most safest thing to do is to stay off the road until the severe weather passes, but tornadoes are unpredictable and driving schedules are demanding, so knowing how to remain safe in such conditions is essential.

Understanding tornadoes and the weather conditions in which they appear is the first step toward safety during the height of tornado season. Different areas have different peak seasons to be mindful of when traveling.

Know the weather before driving into it

Check the weather is a priority when driving during tornado season but also be sure to check constantly along the route by listening to local radio or a NOAA Weather Radio to be alerted of tornado watches 

There are two signals to listen for, a tornado watch and a tornado warning, with a simple way to differentiate one from the other:

  • A tornado watch means that conditions in the area are favorable to the formation of a tornado, which means drivers should “watch” for things to get worse.
  • A tornado warning means one has been spotted in the area, which means drivers have been “warned” about the imminent danger.

If at all possible, truck drivers should postpone driving until the weather clears up. Company drivers should contact the right personnel and see who monitors the weather conditions and what methods are in place to ensure driver safety on the road.

Overpasses are not safe areas for shelter during a tornado. 

Many of those structures are built without girders providing any type of crawl space, and an area above the true ground level will leave a person susceptible to higher wind speeds and more flying debris. Furthermore, the overpass can cause a tunnel effect with the wind, increasing speed, and as the tornado passes an overpass that is directly in its path, wind direction can change 180 degrees as the vortex passes.