The penultimate feature in our driving advice series covers the dangers of driving in high winds. When mulling over the dangers of the roads, most people wouldn’t consider the wind to be an issue. However, strong winds are surprisingly dangerous and can take the control of your car away from you in seconds.
During periods of strong winds, if travel isn’t essential then avoid it. If you really need to travel then switch on the radio and listen out for local news bulletins that will keep you updated with road closures.
If conditions become significantly worse while you’re on the road then pull over wherever it’s safe to do so and call someone to let them know you’ll be arriving later than expected.
If you do find yourself driving in strong winds, remember our key tips and keep yourself safe:
- When you hear about the chance of bad weather, plan your journey in advance. Find out whether there are any less severely affected routes that you could use as an alternative.
- Strong gusts of wind get under vehicles and can significantly affect handling and braking, so adjust your speed accordingly.
- When driving in exposed areas you’re even more at risk of being hit by strong gusts, so be prepared.
- Take care when over taking high-sided vehicles – moving past large vehicles can result in a strong gust hitting your car as you pass.
- Hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands. Strong winds aren’t usually constant, they’re usually gusty and can easily catch you off guard.
- Give high vehicles, cyclists and motorcyclists more room than you would usually because side winds will affect them the most. These vehicles get blown around easily, which is not only dangerous for themselves but also for other motorists too.
- Watch out for other vehicles – this might seem obvious but watching them closely may give you a pre-warning of where on the road you could be affected.
- Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front – your braking and stopping distances could be increased in severe weather so make sure you increase the two second rule.
- Park in a safe place – avoid parking under trees or too close to buildings – especially those that are old or with chimneys.
Bearing this advice in mind before you travel should help ensure you stay safe when on the roads in severe weather. However, should you come into any trouble, we’re always on hand to help.