Tornado Dangers: Car or Ditch? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tornado Dangers: Car or Ditch?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's severe weather season and the Region 8 StormTeam has showed you where the safest spot should be in your home.

But what if you're driving when a tornado strikes? What do you do? You have a few options. Some are better than others.

One option is to outrun it. This option is NOT recommended. If you DO decide to outrun it, typically your best option is to drive south. 

But there are safer options. First, look for a sturdy structure. Look for a gas station, a restaurant or even someone's home. 

If taking cover in a building is not an option. You still need to leave your car. To some people, that sounds crazy. But to a tornado, you in your car is like a rock in a can. The outcome is not good. It's always best to get out of your car. 

Jumping in a ditch is the safest option. People typically do not die because a tornado sucked them up and dropped them somewhere else. They die or are critically injured because of debris flying in the air. 

Getting in a ditch gets your body lower than where the debris is flying. You'll get dirty, you'll be rained on, but when a tornado is bearing down on you, that will be the least of your worries.

Many people try to get under an overpass. 

There are at least two reasons this option is a bad idea. First, the air accelerates when it passes under the overpass. It's like blowing air though a straw. Breath has more velocity at the end of the straw than if you exhale without it. 

When the air passes through this overpass, physics take over and the air has a higher velocity.

In the event of severe weather, plan ahead. If you can avoid driving on the roads when the threat of tornados is in the forecast, do it. 

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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