RAC

Safe Driving In Windy Weather

Consider whether your journey is really necessary – only travel where there is no other option. If you do have to travel, listen out for local news bulletins to keep up to date with road closures.

If conditions get too hard to cope with and you get the chance to pull over, do so and, if it is safe and legal, phone a family member or friend and let them know that you have stopped for a while.

The following tips should always be followed when driving in strong wind: 

  • Plan your journey – is there a route with less exposure to the weather? Choose a sheltered route if you have the option
  • Drive slowly enough to cope with the gusts – high winds can get under a car and affect its handling and braking significantly
  • Be prepared when driving in exposed areas, vehicles could be hit by sudden gusts of wind
  • Be very careful when overtaking high-sided vehicles – driving past large vehicles can result in a sudden gust from the side as you clear
  • Make sure you hold the steering wheel firmly. Strong winds are not constant; they’re usually gusty and can catch you off guard
  • Give cyclists, motorcyclists, lorries and buses more room than usual. They get blown around easily by side winds. Motorcyclists especially should avoid travelling in high winds as high cross winds can affect the handling of the motorcycle
  • Keep an eye on what is happening to other vehicles. Where they are affected will give you a pre-warning, eg if they appear to be blown off course
  • Keep extra distance between you and the car in front – consider increasing the two-second rule to three seconds
  • Make sure that you park your car in a safe place – avoid parking under trees, near buildings etc

Be wary of:

  • Crossing high exposed bridges
  • Vehicles towing caravans
  • Using top or roof boxes as this increases susceptibility to cross-winds
  • Debris on the road
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