Top tips for driving in windy weather

Top tips for driving in windy weather

Large vehicles can often veer off road in strong winds

Old Blighty has not let us down this year, with its delivery of a traditional wet British summer. Meanwhile across the pond, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose have battered the Atlantic islands and coastlines. With more gusty forecasts in sight, here’s everything you need to know about driving in windy weather…

Plan your journey

It’s always a good idea to check the news or online reports before heading out in the car, to help you avoid delays or hazards.

During bad weather spells this is even more important and planning your route carefully can help you avoid the effects of bad weather.

Here’s a few tips:

  • Choose a sheltered route, rather than an exposed one more susceptible to strong winds
  • Avoid areas you’ve known to suffer flooding or blown-over trees such as exposed bridges or wooded areas
  • Let friends and family know the route you’re taking, in case you get stuck or break down

Keep a firm grip on the wheel

Strong winds can see your car blown from one side of the road to the other. You can anticipate sudden wind blasts by keeping a firm hold on your steering wheel at all times.

Watch your speed

Handling and braking can be affected when strong gusts of wind get under your vehicle and blow you off course. This impact will be massively reduced if you’re driving at a steady and careful pace, giving you much better control.

Turn on traffic reports

Most car radios come with a TP function that automatically tunes to any traffic programmes. Make sure you have this on while driving in bad weather as it will alert you to any danger on your route.

Prepare to stop

It’s common that bad weather can cause your journey to grind to a halt. Debris on the road, accidents ahead or even breakdowns incurred through overheating could disrupt your journey.

If you’re heading out in bad weather, make sure you have provisions such as warm clothes, water and snacks. It’s also a good idea to fully-charge your mobile phone in case you need to call for help, or let loved ones know you’ve been delayed.

Keep an eye on large vehicles

When you’re passing high-sided vehicles ­– such as HGVs, lorries and caravans ­– strong winds can often blow them into the next lane or cause their back ends to lose control. Take extra care when overtaking large vehicles and leave lots of lane space while passing to anticipate veering.

Execute care

Just as large vehicles are susceptible to swerving in high winds, small cars, motorbikes and cyclists can also be particularly vulnerable. Stay a safe distance away or give them extra room when overtaking.

Watch out

Keep an eye on cars being blown about a few metres in front as it’s likely these sudden gusts are about to hit you. It’s also a good indication of whether there is debris on the road or other hazards you should be aware of.

Fallen trees can sometimes be difficult to spot as they hang above the sweep of your headlights, but cars in front can alert you to this if you see them swerve to avoid.

If you notice small branches or twigs blowing down the road, this could be an indication of a fallen tree ahead, so be extra vigilant, especially on bends.

If the windy weather has you worried, get some peace of mind with our Defaqto five star-rated comprehensive car insurance

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