The images from the recent tornado strikes in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area were scary. But if you are a trucker, some of the images were especially worrisome – specifically the photos of the devastation at freight shipper Schneider National's Dallas Operations Center.
Though any driver on the open road is in danger when tornados strike, truckers are especially vulnerable. Those 53' vans – full or empty – are huge targets for any gust of wind. But tornadic winds, which can reach 300 miles-per-hour, are especially deadly when you're moving freight.
Unfortunately, the recent tornado damage is just the beginning for 2012. Tornado season east of the Rockies typically lasts from early spring to late summer, but FEMA reminds us that every state is at some risk from this hazard. Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer. Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.
Here are some tips from The Weather Channel for driving safety during tornado activity:
• Do not drive during tornado conditions.
• Never try to out-drive a tornado. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift a car or truck and toss it through the air.
• Get out of your vehicle immediately and seek shelter in a nearby building.
• If there is no time to get indoors, or if there is no nearby shelter, get out of the vehicle and lie in a ditch or a low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
We were very glad to hear Schneider report that there were no fatalities at their facility, but it was a brutal reminder of how dangerous tornados are for truckers and trucking companies.
Stay safe out there, drivers.
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