Driving during strong wind

Dust Storm in North Las Vegas, Nevada Dust Storm in North Las Vegas, Nevada Creative Common BY-SA

How to prepare for a journey, when there’s a strong wind? You definitely shouldn’t hurry, because nervousness and high speed can only make travelling harder. It’s better to accept the fact, that you will reach the target a little bit later.

When the wind blows with a speed of 90-100 km/h or higher, the conditions on the roads are particularly dangerous. When it’s only possible, it’s good to avoid travelling, and leave the car away from poles, trees and other elements that could fall on it.

First of all – slower!

However, if the wind started to blow during driving, and there’s no way of giving up this trip, then we should be aware that we will be driving even twice longer than during favorable weather conditions.
Before we hit the road, we should get rid of the elements that could only disturb, when the weather is bad – for example, it’s good to take off the roof rack.

Once we enter the road, let’s try to drive slower than usually – 50-60 km/h outside a built-up area, may be an optimum. With that speed we have a chance to brake earlier, for example, if we see broken branches or fallen trees. Let’s remember that it could be a pretty common view. It’s worth to strain to see the obstacles on the road possibly early.

The hardest gusts in open stretches of the road

Strong wind can be particularly felt on bridges, as well as in open stretches of the road. Those are the situations, where your car can lose a traction. The problem may even increase, if you start braking or turning in such places.

We should be also prepared, when we leave the built-up area, or woods and enter the exposed stretch. In this situation the strong gusts can hit the car with an enormous power (the fastest we go, the strongest it hits).

Entering the exposed stretch of the road will be even harder, when we drive a motorhome, delivery car, or if we pull a caravan. This is because these vehicles have a large side surface.

When driving a large car, or a unit with caravan, it’s important to distribute the load appropriately. Luggage should be placed evenly on the entire surface of the car or caravan in a way, so the heaviest items were place as low as possible.

Waiting for a traffic

When going on a few-hour trip, when the weather condition is bad, it’s worth to take a thermos, blanket, water and a chocolate (or chocolate bars). Chocolate will give us an “energy kick”, in case it turns out that we have to spend more time in the traffics. Anticipating traffics, it’s also worth to tank more fuel.

Strong gusts of wind are not a rarity in winter. Meteorologists have calculated, that windy days constitute approximately 15-30 % of this season. So better not to underestimate the aforementioned tips, and remember, that strong wind often goes hand in hand with other “attractions”, such as blizzards or ice on the road.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska


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