Man driving in windy weather

Driving Safely in Windy Conditions

Safety Tips

Fall is a lovely time of year! Leaves changing colors, and pumpkins begin invading our homes as part of the decor and food. The crisp air makes one long for warm teas and other cozy comfort foods. Sweaters and scarfs make their triumphant and much desired return. Another aspect of this time of year is travel. Many will go “over the river and through the woods” to reach their destination for the upcoming holidays. However, with autumn’s beauty comes hazardous driving conditions in the form of stronger winds.

The Dangers of Wind

Many drivers don’t think about the hazards wind can cause. Surely, rain, sleet, and other water-based weather can cause greater dangers, right? If that be so, what about objects blown into the road, such as tree limbs and other large loose debris? Tell the downed trees due to strong storm winds that may land on the road that they must be weak if such a thing as wind can cause their downfall. Vehicles that have profiles that are high and narrow, such as trucks and 18-wheelers, are prone to being toppled if a good gust hits them just right. Yes, water can result in slick surfaces and even blinding conditions when mixed with strong gusts, but wind can be just as dangerous on its own power!

Ways to Stay Safe

Thankfully, there are precautions one can take to ensure the safety for all in the vehicle as you travel about in blustery conditions.

The best thing to do is to be very observant as you drive. Make note of larger vehicles. Those that are towing along with those with higher profiles can turn into sails, catching a strong side wind and moving along with the gust or even tipping over! Give these possible hazards a wide berth as you travel to ensure you won’t become entangled in any possible issues they may have. Notice if there are loose items on the side of the road that could be potential projectiles under the influence of the wind. Tarps and tree branches are the greatest offenders in this category.

How you drive can also make a heap of difference. If possible, drive at a slower speed to ensure stability in strong winds. Keep a firm grip on the wheel so the wind doesn’t rip control away from you. To help you see through possible kicked up dust and dirt, have headlights on to be able to see as clearly as possible.

Keep safety at the forefront of your mind when you arrive. When you park, attempt to stay away from large trees and power lines. Strong winds can quickly cause damage to parked cars in these two areas. Open areas free of tall obstacles are your friends during this time of year.

This time of year meant to be full of amazing moments with friends and family. We are to be thankful for our health and prosperity. The last thing needed is an easily avoided accident due to underestimating the wind. If you don’t feel safe venturing out, don’t! You’re loved ones will thank you for remaining safe.