Driving in stormy weather conditions
The past few weeks have brought with it extreme weather conditions, with weather warnings consequently issued for strong winds, ice, and snow. We always recommend avoiding travel in treacherous conditions, but if travel is necessary, it is integral that due care and attention is practiced.
Ian Fido, Head of Training at RED Driving School shares his top tips for staying safe in high winds and precarious weather…
Plan your route and don’t rush
Allow plenty of time for your journey and make sure your car engine is warmed up before you embark. Ensure you have de-iced the vehicle thoroughly and you can see clearly through all windows in your vehicle before you set off. Due to extreme weather, exposed crossings will likely be blocked off, so it’s worth checking for any closures before setting off.
Reduce speed and increase the size of your bubble
As a first step, reduce your speed. Secondly, try to increase the space around your vehicle. These steps will give you more time to react to any unpredictable situations that may develop
Give more space to motorcyclists and cyclists who are more vulnerable to gusts of wind. For the same reason, on high speed roads be very wary of high sided vehicles.
Avoid smaller roads
If possible, avoid smaller roads when travelling, sticking to main roads if possible. Main roads are better lit allowing for more visibility in case of any fallen branches or debris that may have fallen into the road, and are less likely to be blocked by fallen trees.
Be aware of gaps between buildings and trees
In high winds, gaps in buildings and trees could leave your car vulnerable to unexpected gusts of wind from different directions. Be aware of your surroundings and take adequate preparation when approaching these gaps and leaving plenty of room between yourself and other road users.
Hold onto your doors
When getting into the car – or out of it – be sure to hold tightly onto your doors to avoid them springing away and causing serious damage to a door’s hinges or hitting other cars and objects.
Invest in all season tyres
All season car tyres combine the best properties of summer and winter tyres to create an all-round performance tyre. By investing in them early, you can avoid the hassle and cost of changing between summer and winter tyres. Regardless of whether you live in a part of the country that’s especially prone to harsh weather and slippery conditions, we’d recommend using Michelin CrossClimate tyres, available through Kwik Fit.
Pack winter essentials
You never know when you might get stranded due to weather conditions. Be prepared. Pack a torch, a blanket for warmth and portable charging for your device. Your vehicle should always also carry a warning triangle in case of vehicle breakdown. Stay safe!