Changes in wind speed can affect your driving, but with my latest tips you can find ways to better prepare for the windy weather – ensuring your drive is as safe as possible.
What’s around the corner?
As you approach a sharp bend ease off the acceleration, because you never know what’s around the corner. Gusts of wind can force large branches to fall onto the road, completely blocking it. Be prepared for any debris that obstructs the road and be open to the idea that you may have to make a U-turn and use another route.
Don’t get blown away
Be aware of other motorists around you as the windy weather can affect both their and your vehicles. Strong winds are not constant but usually come in gusts blowing motorcycles, lorries and buses from side to side. If you’re driving on the motorway, keep an eye on other vehicles making sure you hold firmly onto your steering wheel to stay in control. Be aware that as you come out from overtaking a lorry, there may be a strong side wind you were being sheltered from.
Watch for gaps in rows of trees and buildings, or the end of a cutting, or a bridge over a river or railways – places where you are suddenly exposed to side winds. Make sure you have enough room between you and the vehicle beside you to account for you or them being blown sideways.
Park it right
Avoid parking your car in a bay that is surrounded by trees as high winds can cause large branches and debris to fall on to your car bonnet. Gusts of wind can also force parked cars to shudder, so make sure you fully apply your hand brake before leaving the car. And if it’s a manual gearbox leave it in gear – this is very important if you’re parking your car on a slope.
Planned and routed
Last but not least, make sure you plan your route ahead to avoid any disruptions. Narrow roads are more likely to get blocked by fallen trees, branches and wet leaves in the windy weather – it is therefore best to avoid narrow roads and lanes which are exposed to debris.