Mark Lewis, the IAM director of standards are advises motorists on how to cope with driving in high winds.
“Driving in windy conditions can be quite challenging, so it’s important that you concentrate on the road at all times and take particular care when driving through narrow roads or over bridges. Also, keep an eye out for where you will suddenly go from a windy section of the road to a sheltered one - for instance when overtaking an articulated lorry – as sudden loss of strong winds can be just as unbalancing, so be prepared”.
1. Plan your journey beforehand and check for any travel disruptions that may affect you. If you can, avoid driving through country roads which are more likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris.
2. Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – Keep your hands tight on the grips but don’t make you arms solid and unbending through tensing-up. This is particularly important when planning an overtake.
3. Remember to give vulnerable road users including, cyclists, other motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They as we are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.
4. As you approach a bend ensure you are able to stop on your own side of the road in the distance you can see to be clear - you never know what’s around the corner. If large debris is obstructing the road ahead, be prepared to make a U-turn and use another route.
5. Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds. Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways.
Reprinted from LAM Progress February 2016
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