Photo via TUV Rheinland of North America YouTube.
High winds are an often overlooked danger to drivers, yet winds can wreak havoc on the roadways and lead to serious collisions.
Experts say winds of even 30 to 45 mph can make driving significantly more hazardous. Heavy winds strongly affect driving dynamics. Serious gusts can actually blow a vehicle off course.
To stay safe, drivers should use the following strategies when driving in windy weather:
Wear your seatbelt — Always buckle up. It’s especially important when your vehicle may be jostled around by heavy gusts.
Reduce speed — Slowing down will help you keep control of your vehicle.
Keep both hands on the wheel — Make sure you have a firm grip and are prepared to react in the event the wind shifts your vehicle or causes objects to fall into the road.
Pass wisely — In windy conditions be extra cautious when passing other vehicles as they may swerve unexpectedly.
Beware of obstacles and downed power lines — The wind can cause trees and other debris to fall into the roadway, and even worse, power lines. Never drive over downed power lines. Even if they have been knocked over by the wind, high-voltage wires may still be alive and very dangerous.
Avoid driving near big rigs and buses — Drivers of large vehicles may have difficulty staying in their lane in windy conditions. What’s more, large vehicles have a lot of wind surface, which means a really strong gust of wind can cause them to flip over and crush any adjacent vehicles. Make sure you steer clear of these and stay out in the open.