In recent days, high winds have created dangerous driving conditions in a number of cities across the country, from New York to San Francisco.
Some drivers underestimate the threat that windy conditions can pose. So here are some tips from the Nevada Department of Transportation you can pass along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
- Plan ahead. Leave extra time because of the need to drive more slowly in high winds.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Slow to a safe driving speed and turn on headlights when needed.
- Keep your hands firmly on the wheel.
- Make steering corrections when driving from wind-protected areas to unprotected areas. The wind may suddenly move your car when traveling from a protected to an unprotected area.
- Maintain safe distances from other vehicles near you, particularly RVs, campers, trucks, buses or trailers being towed. These vehicles could swing out and hit your vehicle in sudden wind gusts.
- Take extra care in a high-profile vehicle such as a truck, van or SUV – or when towing a trailer. These vehicles are more prone to being pushed or flipped by high winds.
- Watch for objects that could potentially blow into the roadway, such as tree limbs.
- Listen to the radio for changes in weather conditions that could create more dangerous driving.
- If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, pull over into a safe parking area (the shoulder of a busy roadway is not safe) and stop, making sure you are away from trees, power lines or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle.
- When arriving at your destination, avoid parking near trees, downed power lines and buildings.
- Never drive over downed power lines. Even if they have been knocked over by the wind, high-voltage wires may still be live and very dangerous. Also, avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches, and report the downed lines to your local utility emergency center and the police.
In the event of a dust storm, the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommends the following:
- If you see a dust storm crossing the road or engulfing your vehicle, pull a safe distrance off the highway and wait for the dusty conditions to pass.
- When stopped, turn off lights. Set the emergency brake and make sure the brake light is off. This will reduce the possibility of a rear-end collision.
- If conditions prevent pulling off the road, proceed at an appropriately reduced speed. In this situation, turn your lights on and use the center line as a guide. Remember, never stop on the pavement.
To watch a video offering additional advice from the Idaho State Police, click on the photo or link below the headline.