12:13 PM 21st December 2023
Ten Tips For Driving In High Winds
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay
A firm grip on the wheel, increased following distance and smart parking are all required during windy weather.
Motoring company LeaseCar.uk
have issued ten top tips to help UK drivers battle stormy conditions on the roads.
Other advice for Brits taking their vehicles out in high winds includes to allow additional time to complete their journeys, to consider vulnerable road users, transport goods wisely and to anticipate potential sudden gusts.
Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said:
Here are the ten tips for driving in windy weather:
“Drivers typically take precautions when the roads are icy, snowy, wet or the sun is dazzling – it’s equally necessary to think ahead when it’s windy though.
“If you must travel during a storm, the first thing to do is reduce your speed, hold the wheel a bit tighter and try to stay as alert as possible.
“Of course, if conditions become too difficult, you should delay your journey until they improve.”
1. Grip the wheel firmly
Holding the steering wheel tightly with both hands increases a driver’s level of control and ability to react in windy weather, especially if you're in a more vulnerable vehicle.
2. Slow down
Travelling at a faster speed increases your vulnerability to high winds, as less of an impact is needed to risk wobbling or other effects on your vehicle.
Slowing down also allows more time to react to debris that could blow into your path. Turns and corners should be taken much slower too to avoid being knocked off course.
3. Anticipate sudden changes
Certain areas on the roads can be particularly prone to the wind, including large, high or exposed bridges, flyovers and viaducts – consider an alternative route, if possible.
4. Pay attention to warnings
Motorists should always check local weather forecasts before starting a journey in case any official weather warnings have been issued. Keep an eye out for fixed signs that warn of areas prone to high winds and for any digital signs on motorways warning of possible problems.
5. Increase following distances
Ensuring you allow a longer gap between yourself and the vehicle driving in front of you during stormy weather should allow for increased stopping distances and reaction times.
6. Consider other road users
Give a wide berth to vulnerable vehicles that may struggle to stay in their lanes in windy conditions, including large high sided lorries and caravans or other trailers. Drivers should allow more room for motorcyclists and when passing regular cyclists than usual.
7. Place luggage wisely
Roof boxes and trailers should be removed wherever possible during stormy weather, to reduce the surface area of the vehicle and therefore reduce susceptibility to cross winds in particular. Goods carried in the boot of a car could actually help improve stability.
8. Allow extra time
Any drivers getting behind the wheel in windy conditions should allow additional time to complete their journey, in case they encounter road or lane closures, diversions, obstructions, reduced speed limits, emergency works, or potential accidents or crashes.
9. Pull over if necessary
Just as with any other extreme conditions on the roads, if windy or stormy weather becomes too risky or dangerous, drivers should pull over, turn the engine off and wait for an improvement.
10. Don’t park under trees
When parking up during a storm, it’s vital to carefully assess your surroundings for anything that could fall and damage your vehicle. Drivers should steer clear of any parking spots that are directly beneath trees, scaffolding, phone poles or similar. Make sure your handbrake is in good working order before leaving your car or van too.