Windy weather can cause trouble on the roads. Luckily, IAM RoadSmart has come up with 5 simple tips to stay safe when the gusts pick up, whether you’re in a car or on a motorbike.
Look around you
If it’s windy, keep even more of an eye out around you than usual. Your car may not be feeling the impact of the gusts, but cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders most certainly will be. If you’re about to drive near any of these, slow down and keep it safe.
And keep an eye out for other vehicles. High winds could cause buses, lorries or trailers to swerve suddenly. So keep your distance.
If the winds are fast, you shouldn’t be
The faster you’re driving or riding, the harder it is to control a vehicle during crosswinds. Driving a little slower also gives you more time to look at the scenery that’s coming up, which can help you predict any sudden gusts of wind.
Keep your hands where you can see them
Specifically, keep both of your hands on the wheel or your handlebars, and be ready to exert maximum grip if required. Whether you’re in a car or sat on a bike, driving through heavy winds can be tiring on your hands and in general, so take breaks if you need them.
Know where to go
Try to plan your journey in advance to protect yourself against winds. Check the weather forecast and avoid the roads if you can. If you have to drive, plan a route that avoids any potential danger zones (such as open areas or bridges).
For the riders
If you need to go out in the wind, and you have the choice, choose a heavier bike if possible. The lower centre of gravity will make the bike more stable, and less likely to be affected by the wind.
This advice is anything but hot air, as it comes straight from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.
He said: “The only thing that is predictable about the British weather is its unpredictability! Slowing down and looking ahead will serve you well as you try to negotiate your way safely through the short winter days.”