What Not To Do When Driving in High Winds

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.


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Reasons Why Top Gear Doesn’t Interest Me

Top Gear Series 21 ICONIC

When I tell people I’m a motoring journalist, they instantly assume they know what my favourite TV show needs to be. Oh, I bet you love Top Gear, they say.

And after that I have to admit to not loving it. Or liking it even.

I’ve certainly tried to like it: after all, it represents an opportunity to combine watching telly with being able to tell myself, I’m working because actually, this counts as research.

But it’s still a no.

Why I don’t like Top Gear

My driving life, and my journalism is centered on everyday motoring – how to get the best deal on car insurance, for example, while keeping fuel costs down.

So, i fight to get interested in items on unaffordable supercars, and the various challenges and pranks engaged in by the laddish presenters Hammond, Clarkson and may even.

Is it because I’m not the target audience?

Top Gear producer Andy Wilman recently said: Top Gear is just an hour of escapism fronted by three badly dressed middle-aged men.

Top Gear for ‘people with mental age of nine’

He added that a lot of the show is aimed at people with a mental age of nine.

Well, I’m a woman and my mental age is considerably older than nine, however i know plenty of women both older and younger than me who enjoy the programme.

Top Gear certainly doesn’t need me to increase its viewing figures, however.

It’s a hugely popular programme worldwide, having aired in 170 different countries. And when the show returned for its 21st series it netted over 5 million viewers.

I don’t think that Top Gear should be changed – it’s very successful by itself terms.

BBC Four’s A303: Highway towards the Sun

But I’d prefer to see motoring shows with reviews of cars I might actually buy, Supernanny giving advice concerning how to get kids to behave in the car, and fun items on scenic drives.

StonehengeThe motoring programme I enjoyed the most in recent years was BBC Four’s A303: Highway on the Sun.

It absolutely was a documentary about the road that passes Stonehenge, pictured right, and through Dorset and Devon.

It featured writer Tom Fort driving the 92-mile length of the A303 in a Morris Traveller.

It was actually full of fascinating information about the path and its history and there wasn’t a laddish joke or anyone driving ridiculously fast around an evaluation circuit to be seen. Bliss.

Tim Barnes-Clay, Confused.com’s car reviewer, says it’s not just women who tune out when Top Gear comes on…

They say you ought to never meet your heroes and in my case it’s true. In the late 1980s/early 1990s I loved Top Gear and was a huge fan of Jeremy Clarkson.

But then our paths crossed in 1996 when I was working in TV and filmed him at the Car Show in Birmingham.

He was being his usual controversial self and, though it was tongue-in-cheek, I felt he was deliberately playing a character and therefore he wasn’t as passionate about cars as I’d thought.

‘My four-year-old son loves Top Gear’

I stopped watching around that time and I’ve only got back in it because my four-year-old son is a big fan.

We watch old episodes together and he loves the fast cars and the loud screeching noises.

But I get the modern show a bit too scripted and contrived – it’s like it’s turn into a parody of itself.