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How to Drive in a Hail Storm

Hailstones are one of Mother Nature’s precipitations that can have catastrophic effects. Understanding hail storms is the first step towards keeping yourself, your loved ones, and your vehicle safe when one hits. Each year, multiple hail storms descend on the Midwestern United States, including Colorado. Hailstones can cause damage to anything in their path, including homes, crops, and cars. 

This article will review hail storms from many angles, from how they form to how we repair auto hail damage in Denver, Colorado. Our primary focus today will be on safety steps to take when caught driving during a hail storm. 

How to drive in a Hail Storm Table of Contents:

How Does a Hail Storm Form?

Hail storms form when a thunderstorm carries solid, frozen precipitation. While sleet and snow can be considered frozen water, scientists classify hailstones as a solid form of frozen water, like ice. Clouds high in the atmosphere experience colder temperatures. Raindrops in these frigid temperatures freeze. As they become heavier, these frozen raindrops fall. 

Strong updrafts will catch the frozen raindrop, returning it to the colder temperatures high in the cloud. Water droplets adhere to the frozen raindrop on the way up, freezing to create another layer of ice. This process continues, building hailstones in the cloud. When the hailstones weigh too much for the updraft to support them, they fall to the ground. 

Throughout the centuries, many humans have failed in attempts to control hail storms. From shooting cannons into the clouds to ringing church bells to cloud seeding, no one has been able to control or predict when a hail storm shows itself. 

Hailstones can range in size from a few centimeters in diameter to 8 inches, the largest hailstone on record in the United States. Any size of hailstone can cause damage. When the hailstones reach 1 inch in diameter, expect moderate damage. Hailstones over 2 inches typically cause severe auto hail damage. 

Hail Storms in Denver, Colorado

Colorado is a part of the group of states known as “Hail Alley.” The Hail Alley nickname refers to the Great Plains region that stretches across Canada and the United States. Each year, these states see multiple hail storms, typically during the summer months. 

Coloradans keep an eye on the sky from May to September in case of a surprise hail storm. Denver, Colorado, sees an average of 7 to 9 hail storms yearly. The most severe hail storm in Denver, Colorado, was on May 8, 2017. That single storm caused over $2.3 Billion in damages. Coloradans in its path suffered many losses, including crop loss, home and property damage, and auto hail damage. 

While not every year sees damage as substantial as the storm from the summer of 2017, every year does bring a hail storm or two. Understanding how to protect yourself when surprised by a hail storm can help you minimize damage when the moment comes. 

Top Safety Tips for Driving in a Hail Storm

Driving in Colorado is beautiful. With breathtaking views in each direction, you can watch the clouds roll in through the Rocky Mountains. Due to the location of Denver, Colorado, it is normal to experience swift weather changes. While hail storms are unpredictable, there are proven safety measures that will help you decrease the amount of damage you and your vehicle incur. 

Here are our Top Safety Tips for Driving During a Hail Storm: 

Stop Driving

Hailstones fall at high speed, and when they meet the speed of your car, the impact becomes significantly greater. If you are driving when it starts to hail, pull your vehicle over safely as soon as possible. Auto insurance companies know driving through a hail storm will cause more significant auto hail damage in Denver, Colorado. They will often choose not to insure your auto hail damage if you continue to drive during the storm. 

Park Your Car Under Cover

Experts recommend you use covered parking when available during the summer in Colorado on days when hail storms are likely. If you encounter a hail storm in Denver while driving, quickly stopping your car is the best thing to do. If you can do so under an overpass or covering, your vehicle will thank you. 

Angle Your Car Towards the Hail Stones

Your windshield has two layers of specialized glass, with a layer of plastic in between. Windshields are the strongest glass in your car. When parking your vehicle, park so that it is pointing towards the hailstones. Parking at an angle is critical if you are sitting in your car waiting for the storm to pass. Side windows and the back windshield are more likely to break due to hailstone impact, potentially causing more harm to passengers than good. Protect yourself by parking at an angle; windshields are designed to shield you! 

Stay Inside

The best thing to do during a hailstorm is to stay inside. We discuss auto hail damage in Denver, crop loss, and property damage from the 2017 storm. Hailstones can harm you, too. While a hail storm passes through, stay indoors. Storms often roll through quickly. Better to be a few minutes late and healthy than on time and injured. While indoors, distance yourself from glass doors or windows in case of sideways wind. 

How is Auto Hail Damage Repaired?

Auto hail damage is inevitable for those that live in Hail Alley. Area specialists always suggest having comprehensive auto insurance if you live in these areas. Hail damage is covered by auto insurance companies, even with multiple storms and repair claims during a year. This article explains the auto insurance claim hail damage repair process. Our claim specialists at Capital Dent Masters will walk you through the auto insurance claim process. We speak directly with your insurance, removing one thing from your to-do list. 

The preferred method to repair hail damage on a car in Denver, Colorado, is “Paintless Dent Repair.” Paintless Dent Repair, or PDR, can return your vehicle to its condition and value before the hail damage. Hail damage, although considered cosmetic, is costly damage to incur. The average auto hail damage claim is roughly $5,000, depending on the severity of the damage. 

What is PDR?

PDR is short for paintless dent repair. It is a method of repairing dents in the metal panels of cars. Specialized lights highlight the exact curvature of the metal panel. PDR technicians use metal rods of varying shapes and sizes to push the metal to its original placement. Some metals have memory and happily return to their original form. Other metals, such as aluminum, do not have a metal memory. Only a highly trained technician should attempt paintless dent repair on an aluminum vehicle panel. 

Paintless dent repair is a technique that combines natural strength with precision and artistry. Carefully massaging the dents one by one, PDR technicians return your vehicle to its condition before the hail storm. Our PDR technicians at Capital Dent Masters have mastered the art of paintless dent repair, working worldwide. 

Why is PDR the Preferred Auto Hail Repair Method?

Auto insurance companies prefer PDR for one of its main benefits. PDR does not add extra substances or require new painting, unlike other repair methods. While this is part of what makes it an environmentally-friendly auto repair option, it is also vital for auto insurance companies. After PDR, your vehicle returns to its condition before the hail storm. Your car also maintains its value from before the hail storm. PDR is a repair method worth investing in for your auto insurance agency! 

Paintless dent repair can and should be done after each hail storm resulting in auto hail damage in Denver, Colorado. PDR cannot be done on vehicles that have sustained damage from multiple storms. Comprehensive auto insurance policies will cover auto hail damage claims after each storm if hail damage is incurred. 

Paintless Dent Repair Specialists in Denver, Colorado

For every hail storm that comes your way in the Denver metro area, Capital Dent Masters is here to help you get through the aftermath. Our technicians are experts in auto hail damage repair. Their quality of repair is unmatched in the Denver area. 

We understand car repairs can bring stress into your life. Our mission is to match our premier quality hail repair with hospitable customer service. Our claims specialists will work directly with your auto insurance, removing that from your list of things to do. We offer various services to make your auto hail repair process in Denver stress-free. 

Reach out and begin your free auto hail repair estimate today! You may qualify for complimentary valet, a free rental vehicle, or a waived deductible. We are here to make this process an easy one for you.

Capital Dent Masters is your local, family-owned, and operated auto hail repair shop in Denver, Colorado. Our passion for quality craftsmanship, love for cars, and desire to share our knowledge with the community shine through all of our services. Stop by and find out exactly how we can help you have a pleasant auto body repair experience.

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