It can be a nervy affair to drive during a storm or very strong winds. Luckily, we’ve pulled together our Top 10 tips to help you get to your destination safely.
1. Preparation is Key
Before setting out, check the weather forecast. If high winds are expected, consider delaying your trip, especially if it's not urgent. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, with special attention to tyres, brakes, and lights. Do you need that roof box you have attached? Reconsider anything that could catch the wind easily.
2. Slow Down
High winds can make driving unpredictable. Reducing your speed can help you maintain control of your vehicle. Remember, the faster you drive, the more likely strong winds will affect your vehicle.
Slowing down has the added benefit of saving you money on fuel. Another way to save money is by getting 3c off per litre at Circle K garages using the AA app. You don’t even have to be a member. Anyone can download the app!
3. Steering and Handling
Strong gusts can catch you off guard and veer your car off course. Maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel and be prepared to steer against the wind or gusts. Avoid sudden or sharp steering movements.
4. Watch out for high-risk vehicles
Be extra cautious around motorcycles, trucks, and vehicles towing trailers. These are more susceptible to high winds and can have difficulty staying in their lanes. Don’t drive too close to them. If you need to overtake, make sure you give them plenty of room.
5. Keep a Safe Distance
Increase your following distance, which is the distance you leave between your car and the car in front. This gives you more time to react if the wind pushes another vehicle towards you. It will also help you having to avoid emergency braking if the car in front slows or changes direction suddenly.
6. Be aware of your surroundings
Watch for objects that could potentially be blown into your path. Trees, branches, and debris can become hazards in high winds. Objects will become dislodged during a storm and you need to prepare for the worst. Slow down to a more comfortable speed so that you can stop or avoid any obstructions.
7. Watch out for roads exposed to crosswinds
These roads can experience very strong gusts of wind. If you must cross, do so carefully and be aware of the potential for strong crosswinds. You’re looking out for bridges that are high up or raised roads on flat land that don’t have the protection of hills or trees.
8. Plan Your route
Avoid open areas, such as bridges or high ground, where winds can be stronger. If possible, choose a route that is sheltered by trees or buildings. This may mean that your journey is longer, but it is worth it if you can drive more safely.
9. Pull Over if Necessary
If the winds become too strong to safely control your vehicle, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out. Let the gusts die down, and continue on when you feel it is safe.
10. Stay Informed
Keep your radio tuned to local traffic reports if you can for updates on weather conditions and advice from traffic authorities.
In the event of something going wrong, you’re going to want the right insurance to meet your needs. AA Car Insurance has a whole host of benefits.
And don’t forget that you get extra discounts on your Car Insurance if you have multiple products with us, such as our famous AA Breakdown Rescue.