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The UK is currently engulfed in windy weather and frequent hurricanes which can put drivers at greater risk on the roads.
A sudden gust of wind can come as a surprise to even the most experienced of drivers so it’s important to know the risks involved, and if the weather is extreme and you don’t have to make a trip in your vehicle, the safer option is to stay at home until things improve.
Below, Trusted Dealers advises motorists on how to handle windy weather.
Sudden gusts of wind can occur at any time, but particularly on open stretches of road, or when overtaking high-sided vehicles. If you feel yourself being buffeted by the wind, keep your hands firmly on the wheel and keep your speed down. The faster you are travelling, the more likely you are to go off course if there is sudden gust.
If you’re driving a high sided vehicle or towing a caravan, you’re more likely to be blown off course in windy weather, but other vehicles can be affected. In windy weather, it’s important to maintain distance between your car and other vehicles, particularly cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders who are more vulnerable in windy weather.
In windy weather, be aware it is far more dangerous to stop on the hard shoulder. If you have to make an emergency stop, move to a safe location well away from your vehicle whilst you wait for help. Lorries and other high-sided vehicles could be blown off course suddenly and veer onto the hard shoulder.
Trees & debris
Be aware that in windy weather there could be potential hazards on the road such as debris and tree branches. If you spot a piece of road littered with debris or branches, reduce your speed straight away. There could be even larger branches further ahead which could cause damage to your car and potentially lead to a fatal accident if hit at speed.
In case of a breakdown caused by windy weather, make sure you always carry a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing. Plan journeys carefully and avoid any routes which are susceptible to high winds if you can by checking weather reports and traffic bulletins regularly.
Storms to come
As part of a pilot project to raise awareness of severe weather and improve public safety, storms throughout the autumn and winter of 2015/16 are being named. The storms still to come include Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon, Wendy.