« « Car park etiquette | Tyres and tarmac rule » »

Driving in high winds

With wind speeds up to 108 mph registered in the UK, it’s important to know how to stay safe. Unlike rain or snow, you can’t see the wind and it’s unpredictable. If your car starts to get blown around by a crosswind, slow down gently and steer very slightly into the breeze. Be prepared that when the gust stops you may still be turning the wheel, so return it to the straight-ahead position. This is only a minute movement, but it’s important to grip the wheel firmly.

Head and tailwinds can also affect your car and its handling. Bear in mind a tailwind will be trying to push your car on, meaning you may need to press harder on the brakes to stop. The opposite might happen going into a headwind – you’ll likely have to press the accelerator harder to maintain the same speed. Be aware that if the wind stops blowing, you may accelerate rapidly.

Your car can also be blown about as you move out from a sheltered section of road on to an exposed bridge, for example, or pass a high-sided vehicle. These vehicles along with motorcycles and cyclists, will be more susceptible to sudden gusts and could move without warning, so give them plenty of room.