In the past number of months, we’ve been hit with extremely high winds and gusts across the country. It’s important that we keep safe when out and about and that also means taking extra care with driving in windy weather. Here we list 8 top tips to keep you safe when out in your during stormy conditions.

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Top 8 Stormy Driving Tips
1 – Plan your trip: Know the route that you are going to take and the exposure of those roads. Exposed roads are susceptible to gusts and blasts of wind that can take your car off course. Can you take a different route or ask yourself the question is the trip really necessary?

2 – Drive slowly. Gusts and cross winds will get in around the car and can effect the handling and braking significantly. Slowing down will ensure that you can maintain control of the car more easily and react quicker to a sudden gust.

3 – Hold the steering wheel correctly – We’re all guilty of driving with one hand on the wheel cruising down the road, but when driving in stormy conditions gripping the steering wheel correctly and having full control of the vehicle is very important. Strong winds are not constant, they come in gusts and can catch you off guard and send the car off course. A grip of ’10 to 2′ is the ideal grip on the wheel.

4 – Give cyclists, motorcyclists, trucks and buses more room than usual, both when driving alongside and behind them as they get blown around easily by side winds. Motorcyclists especially should avoid travelling in high winds as high cross winds can affect the handling of the motorcycle.

5 – Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, think about increasing the 2 second rule to 3 seconds.

6 – Be aware of debris from trees, other vehicles and structures that may be blown onto the road during wintry conditions. Slowing down in anticipation of these is advised, regardless of the type of road.

7 – Be very careful when over-taking high sided vehicles as a sudden gust can catch you from the other side as you clear the vehicle. Also be aware of how the winds effect the larger vehicle and that they may blown into your course as you overtake them.

8 – Parking. Take note of your surroundings and where possible do not park beside any trees or poles that may come down in heavy winds and smash up your car, or indeed injure you as you enter or exit the car. When exiting the car, be aware that the wind can come from any direction, either pushing the door back in your face (or legs!) or pushing it back against the hinges, damaging it.

It’s key that you take extra care at all times when driving in windy weather. Think about before, during and after the journey and always be aware that gusts can come at any time, even when it seems all has calmed down. Be safe.

Words by John Smyth, MicksGarage Marketing Guru!

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