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Driving Safely In Windy Conditions

When you are confronted with poor weather conditions such as snow, rain, and fog, while driving, it is easy to identify the issue and respond to the problem. However, windy conditions while driving are harder to detect even though they can cause just as many traffic accidents and injuries.

We’ve all driven in windy or gusty conditions, and it is not fun. You may feel your vehicle being slammed by crosswinds or straining against headwinds. You may see commercial truck trailers swaying in strong winds or hear large gusts smacking into your car. You may even have to overcorrect your steering if you are driving with winds cutting across your vehicle. Paired with snow or rain, wind can be especially dangerous. At the same time, wind can knock objects into the road, such as trees, power lines, and other debris.

How can you drive safely and prevent car accidents during windstorms, high winds, and gusts of wind?

•    Slow down. Just as with rain or snow, the best choice you can make when it comes to reducing your chance of accident or serious injury in high wind conditions is to slow your speed.
•    Predict wind gusts. While you can’t predict the wind, you can predict when gusts of wind might affect your car’s movement: when you are passing cars and large truck, when you are going under bridges and underpasses, and when you drive past walls or other wind-blockers.
•    Keep two hands on the wheel. High wind conditions mean that your car is less stable on the roadway. Increase your stability and your control of the car by keeping both hands firmly on the wheel at ten o’clock and two o’clock.
•    Know how your car's reactions in wind. Lighter cars can have more trouble in the wind, as can larger, top-heavy vehicles. The shape of your car can also affect how it handles windy conditions.
•    Read the forecast. You may cancel plans if a blizzard is hitting an area – why should it be different if dangerous winds are predicted? Check your local weather before heading out on a trip, and consider delaying your plans if high winds are rolling in.