We all pass our driving test, but we’re never taught how to handle different driving situations where you have to change your driving style. High wind is a particularly dangerous one as you can’t usually see the effect of it until you get hit by it. Here’s our top 7 tips for how to drive in strong wind.
Be Cautious When Overtaking
Naturally in high wind conditions the handling of your car is decreased. A sudden gust of wind while passing a car could lead to a crash causing you financial and physical injury.
If you do need to overtake someone make sure to do it when there is a long period of open road, so you can give space to the vehicle you’re overtaking accounting a bit of wiggle room where possible! Be extra cautious when passing a lorry as these usually act like wind shields so when you go past them you may be unprepared for the wind resistance.
Reduce your speed
Driving fast already reduces your car’s performance, take it slower when in high wind conditions to give yourself more time to react. As a gust of wind comes sideways at your car it not only shoves against your car body but also goes underneath it reducing stability. If in doubt kill your speed, not yourself.
Plan Your Journey
Always plan ahead and pick areas that aren’t as exposed, areas that are usually adversely affected by high wind conditions are bridges, moors and any open exposed areas.
Monitor other cars
As any good driver does, it’s important to take in your surroundings. By careful looking at how drivers ahead and driving, noticing that a car in front of you suddenly veers into one direction can give you crucial seconds to prepare your grip on the wheel to hold your driving line steady.
Keep a good distance between you and the driver in front, at the very minimum you should at least be able to see the tarmac in-between you and the car in front. If you can’t you’re probably too close and “tailgating”.
Proper Vehicle Maintenance
Make sure all parts of your vehicle that are in contact with the road are in tip top condition. I personally recommend checking your car tyres as these are areas that provide you grip on the road. Make sure you have enough tread on the tyres to maintain ample grip, if your tread gets too low it may also be illegal. If you’re looking to replace your tyres you can find tyres online to be installed at your home or at work so you don’t have to go out with bald tyres.
With high winds comes high risk, make sure you find a suitable spot to park your car. You’ll want to ideally have this in a sheltered area away from trees. The last thing you want to happen is to wake up in the morning with a rogue branch through your wind screen.