Regardless of our competency as individual drivers, when we drive in poor weather, our skills are pushed to the limit. While we may not have the tools or the speed to take corners like a rally driver, our cars are built to withstand a lot of force. We can encounter freak weather conditions almost anywhere in the world these days, and here are two common ones for the winter months.
When it comes to driving in high winds, firstly if you can avoid driving in the weather, then that would be much safer. But if you are caught up in a gust, on a bridge for example, then here are some things to take on board:
Slow the car down. Leave yourself a larger gap than normally between the vehicles in front.
A sudden gust can cause sudden movements! This means that, if the wind is strong enough, it may make the steering wheel turn, so have a strong grip on the wheel at the 9 and 3 positions, which gives you a better hold on the wheel than you would at 10 and 2.
There are potential areas where a gust is so strong it pushes you into the lane next to you. This can occur when you are doing any of the following:
- Going into an exposed area of road from a protected one. For example, from big buildings or rock formations. To give you an idea of what to expect, see what the cars in front are doing.
- Crossing a bridge. Drive in the middle lane.
- If you are driving taller cars, such as camper vans.
- Driving next to cars that are larger than yours. A strong gust could potentially blow them sideways into your lane, ramming you off the road!
After a storm, there could be potential floods or fallen power cables. So drive with your wits about you. If a road is flooded, this could mean that if you abandoned your car in an area of low-lying land, it could get swept away!
After driving in high winds, your car may have taken a battering. Check the car for any superficial damage, or to see if everything is intact in the hood and underneath the car. Getting the suspension checked by a mechanics like GC Suspension or a local service can give you some pointers about driving in conditions like too.
Very stressful due to the low visibility, driving in fog requires you to be more vigilant than you normally would as anything could come into vision with a millisecond for you to react.
- Put the fog lights or the low beam on.
- Before entering a bank of fog, pump the brakes slightly. This will inform the vehicles behind to keep back a safe distance.
- Drive slow is the rule for the most part due to poor visibility, but when going towards a hill, make sure you are really slow, due to not being able to see if a car is on the other side.