Driving safely in the wind

Blog post posted on 06/01/16 |


This week’s tips, from IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, are advising motorists on how to cope with driving in high winds. Keep up-to-date with our latest tips and ensure your winter drive is a smooth one.

  • Plan your journey beforehand and check for any travel disruptions that may affect you. If you can, avoid driving through country roads which are more likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris.
  • Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning an overtake.
  • Remember to give vulnerable road users including, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.
  • As you approach a bend ensure you are able to stop on your own side of the road in the distance you can see to be clear - you never know what’s around the corner. If large debris is obstructing the road ahead, be prepared to make a U-turn and use another route.
  • Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds. Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways.

Richard said: “Driving in windy conditions can be quite challenging, so it’s important that you concentrate on the road at all times and take particular care when driving through narrow roads or over bridges. Also, keep an eye out for where you will suddenly go from a windy section of the road to a sheltered one – sudden loss of strong winds can be just as unbalancing, so be prepared.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety debates on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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