Before you head out on the highway, it’s always a good idea to check the weather and road conditions on AMA Road Reports first. But even when you think you know what to expect, the weather can quickly change driving conditions from peaceful to panic in just a few minutes. If you experience severe weather while travelling, tune your radio to a local station for more information and updates.
Driving In High Wind
High winds can make driving difficult even on dry roads – especially when it is sweeping across your path. To stay safe make sure that you:
- Keep both hands on the wheel with a firm grip at a 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock hand position. Strong wind gusts are unpredictable, and can be strong enough to cause the steering wheel to jerk out of your hands.
- Look ahead and watch for debris on the road. High winds can even cause debris to be thrown directly into your path. By keeping a look out, you will give yourself more time to deal with the situation.
- Be prepared when passing underpasses, buildings, or large vehicles that may block the wind. The sudden absence of wind can surprise you, causing you to suddenly over steer against the direction the wind had been coming from and lose control.
- Be aware that strong winds can be an indication of other adverse weather further up the road, so be alert to deal with possible harsher road conditions. Be proactive and listen to local weather updates on your radio.
- Avoid using cruise control so you can better control your vehicle’s speed.
- Leave yourself plenty of space when travelling alongside larger vehicles like buses or semi-trucks. The wind has more room to push harder on large vehicle, which increases the difficulty of handling these types of vehicles.
- If you’re driving a large vehicle like a van, pick-up truck with canopy or pulling a trailer and encounter a storm with high winds, it’s safest to pull over and wait for the storm to blow over.
- If you come across a downed utility pole, never try to approach or drive across it. Remain at least 10 meters away and call the local utility company’s emergency line.