Drivers have been told how to navigate the roads safely during high winds and bad weather as Storm Debi is set to batter the UK.
A firm grip on the wheel, increased following distance and smart parking are all required during windy weather.
Other advice for Brits taking their vehicles out in high winds includes allowing additional time to complete their journeys, considering vulnerable road users, transporting goods wisely and anticipating potential sudden gusts.
“If you must travel during a storm, the first thing to do is reduce your speed, hold the wheel tighter, and try to stay as alert as possible.
“Of course, if conditions become too difficult, you should delay your journey until they improve.”
Here Are Ten Tips for Driving in Windy Weather:
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. Anticipate Sudden Changes
Certain road areas can be particularly prone to the wind, including oversized, high or exposed bridges, flyovers and viaducts – consider an alternative route, if possible.
Other sports to be extra vigilant in include valleys, wide open roads, dual carriageways surrounded by flat fields, and when approaching gaps in rows of trees or tall buildings.
3. 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.
4. Slow Down
Travelling at a faster speed increases your vulnerability to high winds, as less 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, whilst turns and corners should be taken much slower to avoid being knocked off course.
5. Pack Luggage Wisely
Roof boxes and trailers should be removed wherever possible during stormy weather to reduce the vehicle’s surface area and susceptibility to crosswinds.
Heavier vehicles are generally more challenging for high winds to impact, though, so goods that are instead carried in the boot of a car or rear of a van could help improve stability.
6. Pay Attention to Warnings
Motorists should check local weather forecasts online before starting a journey in case any potentially troubling conditions have been predicted or official weather warnings are issued.
While driving, watch for fixed signs that warn of areas prone to high winds and any digital signs on motorways that warn of possible problems.
7. Consider Other Road Users
Give a wide berth to vulnerable vehicles struggling to stay in their lanes in windy conditions, including oversized, high-sided lorries, caravans, or other trailers.
Drivers should allow more room for motorcyclists when passing regular cyclists than usual and stay well away from the curb in areas crowded with pedestrians.
8. 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 avoid parking near trees, scaffolding, phone poles or similar. Ensure your handbrake is working well before leaving your car or van.
9. Allow Extra Time
Any drivers getting behind the wheel in windy conditions should be allowed additional time to complete their journey if they encounter road or lane closures, diversions, obstructions, reduced speed limits, emergency works, or potential accidents or crashes.
10. Pull Over If Necessary
Just as with any other extreme conditions on the roads, if windy or stormy weather becomes too risky, drivers should pull over, turn the engine off and wait for an improvement.
To learn more about driving through high winds, visit https://leasecar.uk/van-
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