No matter where you live or where you might be traveling, you could suddenly find yourself in a high wind scenario. Not knowing what to do when the wind blows hard can leave you incredibly vulnerable on the road, possibly leading to serious damage to your car and even personal injuries that can stay with you the rest of your life. Armed with the following information, you will at least know what to do in the situation, lessening the chances that something serious will happen on your journey.
To start off, you should avoid driving fast. While it might seem like a great idea to speed so you can get out of the wind, that strategy could backfire big time. Driving with the wind pushing you can actually cause your car to accelerate out of control. If the wind is blowing against the side of the car, a big gust can suddenly blow you off course, and if you are driving fast it’s harder to regain control and steer out of an oncoming lane of traffic. Also, if you are speeding, when you correct for the wind blowing your car off course, you are more likely to overcorrect, which often turns into a rollover accident. So when the wind starts to howl, the best thing you can do is slow down a little bit.
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Avoid driving in a car with a high profile. The profile on your car refers to how your car looks from the side. Tall, boxy vehicles will be more affected by high winds since more of the vehicle is exposed to any gusts. Most tall vehicles are also fairly top-heavy, making them huge rollover risks even in normal conditions. If you must go somewhere during a wind storm, it’s best to choose a vehicle that is short and low to the ground. Sports cars, in general, are great choices, just remember to not bury the accelerator and you should be fine.
Steer well away from trailers or anything else that is being towed. While it’s difficult to keep a trailer in check during normal conditions, when the wind is whipping around it can be completely impossible. Semi-truck trailers, car carriers, boats and campers can suddenly start whipping back and forth unpredictably on the road, and if your car is in the way you will suffer the consequences. Not only should you not tailgate any of these objects, but you should also avoid driving next to them on the road during high winds.
Avoid taking turns and corners fast. When the wind is blowing hard, it actually reduces the friction between your tires and the road. With reduced friction comes reduced handling ability, meaning you need to take turns slowly or you could end up fishtailing and going off the road. If it is raining as well, traction for your tires will be even further reduced. Remember that with the reduced traction you can also hydroplane with greater ease on any standing water on the road, so avoid accelerating as you hit unavoidable puddles.