Driving in high winds can be a daunting experience for any driver. How can you drive more safely?
Winter driving in Ireland can be a little miserable at times. You’re likely to be driving in the wet, cold and in high winds. Driving in these kinds of rapidly changing conditions can be challenging, and there are a number of things to remember and consider when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Sometimes though, when the weather conditions are severe it may be best to postpone a journey entirely rather than risk injury to yourself or other road users. There’s no point trying to brave the elements just to have someone else risk themselves to rescue you!
What car do you drive?
The car you drive can have a large impact on how high winds affect your driving. Both large and small cars are affected by high winds, but in different ways, so don’t assume because you drive a large SUV or small city car that you’re immune.
Large SUV or people carrier often have large sides which can catch crosswinds easier. Entering an open or exposed stretch of road can suddenly push your car in one direction. Its important to always keep a firm, two handed grip of the steering wheel and be ready to react quickly. Do not overcompensate though as this may send you too far in the opposite direction, into the verge or the wrong side of the road.
Smaller cars are less prone to crosswinds but due to their lightness can be more affected by gusts of winds swaying them. As with larger cars its still vitally important to always keep a firm two handed grip on the steering wheel and not become distracted. Just do not white knuckle your journey.
Other weather conditions.
As wind speeds and other adverse weather conditions pick up it is important to be mindful of your driving style. You should lower your speed and increase the distance to the car in front of you. They can see farther and may need to brake suddenly.
Approach bends or hills with more caution, just beyond them may be fallen trees or power lines blown down by wind. Similarly, cyclists are more prone to being blown into your path by gusts of winds. Give them more distance when overtaking.
Where you are driving can should also help determine how you drive. Narrower, twisty roads require some greater care as there are more unknown events which could need a quick reaction.