There’s a right way and a wrong way to do just about everything in life, and when it comes to driving it’s certainly no exception. Irrespective of your opinion on global warming / climate change etc there’s no denying that we’ve been having some pretty freaky weather lately.
The hurricane season lasts the whole year, well almost (or so it seems), snow is deeper than ever and we also have to put up with torrential rain and lots and lots of super strong winds.
The problem with wind is that you can’t actually see it but you can certainly see and feel the results of its force. There can be strong, steady winds and there can be wild, gusty winds which wreak havoc in a matter of seconds.
So let’s look a few things not to do if you happen to be driving in windy conditions:
Don’t Follow Closely Behind Trailers – in fact don’t follow anything which is in the process of being towed. We’re talking tractors with trailers, boats, campers, anything which is available to be pushed around by the wind. Trailers don’t have any of their own power and rely solely on the vehicle which is pulling them. Trailers are also usually anything but aerodynamic which means that they can get pushed around by the bullying wind no end. Tucking in close behind one of these things and trying to get shelter is a very foolish (and dangerous) idea indeed.
Don’t Drive Too Fast – you may have noticed that people will often set speed records when they have a tail wind . . . and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. If the smallest amount of wind can help a car move faster just think what an enormous gust can do. Trying to outrun a storm may seem like a good idea but if a gust of wind pushes you off course when you are travelling at excessive speeds you won’t have time to correct it, and any corrections which you do make will actually be over corrections which means that you’ll then be heading rather too quickly in the opposite direction.
Don’t Head For The Puddles – it may seem like fun to splash passersby and pedestrians in the inevitable rain storm which came with the high winds but it really is not a good idea. If you drive too fast through surprisingly deep water you could start to hydroplane and then, just when you’ve lost traction a big gust of wind can come along and carry your car in whatever direction it thinks best. You could easily find yourself and your car stuck in a ditch, a hedge, a tree, a car or somewhere else entirely.
Don’t Try Out Any Fancy Driving Maneuvers – you may have been watching the latest Fast and Furious movie and fancy yourself as a bit of a driver but storms and high winds are not the time to practice anything tricky. Driving along the real road is very different to the driving you practice on your PS4 of Xbox. High winds reduce the amount of friction which can lift your car and push it offline.
So now you’ve been told what not to do . . . here’s what you should do. Drive carefully, be extra vigilant, slow down, have both hands on the wheel at all times and keep an eye out for debris and anything else the wind may have blown your way.