The effects of blustery gales can often be underestimated by road users. Strong surges of wind can strike without warning, and can sometimes cause real problems. Motorcyclists, small car drivers, and truck drivers are particularly at risk in these circumstances – but even if you feel your car is perfectly suited to these elements, it always pays to be aware of your surroundings.
1. If you feel that strong winds are beginning to affect the handling of your vehicle, it is always safest to stop. A sudden change in direction could be extremely dangerous on motorways or country roads. If you are carrying luggage outside of your vehicle, such as on a roof-rack, remember that this poses a bigger risk to other road users during gales, so your most responsible course of action will be to stop until the high pressure has passed.
2. Just because your vehicle is sturdy, does not mean that everybody else's is. High winds have the potential to destabilise smaller vehicles such as bicycles, motorcycles and small cars. Keep your distance from these road users, and be aware should they begin to drive erratically. Whenever possible, avoid travelling parallel with trucks as high winds have the potential to blow trailers away from the rig, or even to blow them over.
3. Be aware of debris caught in the gales. You might find anything from road signs to garden furniture being lifted into your path. Be proactive – know your surroundings, and stay savvy to any potential pitfalls. Be particularly aware of trees, as these have an awful habit of shaking away their branches, or even falling over in rough winds.