|Hitting the road this week? Be vigilant of strong winds and heavy rains.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the west coast of England, with winds of up to 60mph expected and accompanied by heavy rainfall.
Drivers have been warned to be extra careful when travelling to keep themselves and others safe.
Here are eight handy tips for safe driving in windy weather conditions. We urge you to keep them in mind when travelling over the next few days.
1. Keep a good grip on the wheel
Windy conditions can make it harder to steer your vehicle, so make sure you always keep your hands firmly on the wheel.
2. Slow down
Strong winds can affect handling and braking. Driving slowly can help you maintain control of your car when a sudden gust hits.
3. Pay attention to exposed areas
Parts of the road that are not protected by buildings and trees get knocked harder by strong gusts of wind, so be extra careful when driving in these areas.
4. Be careful on smaller roads
Small roads lined with buildings often create a wind tunnel effect, which can put a strain on car handling. Bear this in mind when driving in residential areas with lots of pedestrians and cyclists.
5. Avoid overtaking
Overtaking large vehicles can be difficult in windy conditions as sudden side winds and extra turbulence can be expected when you pass by. If you have any overtaking doubts, it’s best to stay put to keep safe.
6. Leave some space
Your car creates increased side winds which can affect cyclists and other road users, so make sure you keep as much distance from them as you can. Do the same for the car in front of you as an extra precaution.
7. Watch out for debris
High winds can cause flying debris from trees and buildings, so keep an eye out for any obstructions on the road.
8. Pack emergency supplies
If you need to pull over for whatever reason, having a stash of supplies on hand can be useful. Pack a bag with warm clothes, a blanket, snacks, a torch, and a portable phone charger and leave it in your boot just in case.
Want more tips for driving safely in adverse weather conditions? Check out our guide for driving in fog.