What to do if you drive into a hailstorm

  • Stay inside the vehicle. Hail falls at fast speeds, and it can cause injury to those in its path.
  • Stop driving and pull to a safe place so hail doesn’t break the windshield or any windows — driving compounds hail’s impact with your car. Stop under an overpass, and don’t forget to pull out of traffic lanes and onto a shoulder. Avoid ditches due to possible high-rising water.
  • Keep your car angled so the hail is hitting the front of your car. Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and pelting objects. Side windows and back glass are not, so they’re much more susceptible to breakage.
  • Lie down, if possible, and keep your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, cover yourself with it to prevent possible debris from hitting you.

Repair hail damage

If your car becomes an unlucky victim of hail damage, you’ll most likely need repair work done to remove the dimples left by the hail. Repair options include the conventional method done at a body shop or Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) — a process involving specially molded metal tools that massage the underside of a damaged panel until the dent is removed — which doesn’t disturb your vehicle’s factory finish and generally can be completed within a day.

Here’s what to do if a hailstorm damages your vehicle

The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.

  • Call your insurance company as soon as you can to report your claim.
  • Discuss the damage with your claims representative to determine the best repair method and set up an inspection time.
  • Repair the hail damage to your car.
  • Ensure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. Discuss any issues with the provider and check for any remaining dents before you accept your vehicle and take it home.
  • Get a written guarantee and contact information from the shop before you leave.

Follow these simple steps to repair hail damage to your car — possibly within a day — and get back on the road.