- Today, we have prepared 5 tips that can help you stay safe as you drive through strong winds this hurricane season.
- Maintain a slow speed, and try to avoid the open road.
- Increase follow distance to 5 seconds and try your best to drive a low-profile vehicle.
- Keep your eyes ahead of the road in front of you for fallen branches or other dangerous debris.
Now that hurricane season is in full swing and nearing its peak, it’s very likely that strong winds will become the norm during this time. In fact, Hurricane Humberto was spotted this weekend with its eyes set on the Bahamas and Florida.
Although your region may never experience the devastating effects of a hurricane, you’ll more than likely get your fair share of rainstorms and high-velocity winds. As you commute to work and go about running your daily errands, use the following 5 tips to ensure your safety while driving in strong winds.
Tip #1: Keep Your Speed Down
First and foremost, drive at slower speeds. The posted speed limit signs do not imply that you are required to go that fast. You most certainly can go slower. Keeping your speed down will give you better control over your vehicle. It will also increase your reaction time when that strong gust of wind hits your vehicle from the side and knocks you off course.
Tip #2: Avoid the Open Road
Try your best to travel along a route that is aligned with taller buildings or other natural surroundings. These structures will block a majority of the wind, therefore having less affect on your vehicle. If your route happens to take you through some country roads, stay alert and try to anticipate gusts of wind so you’re prepared to react.
Tip #3: Increase Follow Distance
More than likely, your vehicle won’t be the only one on the road. The suggested follow distance is approximately 2 seconds. Increase this to 5 seconds to give you and other drivers plenty of space to adjust to a sudden strong gust of wind. Additionally, be cognizant that other vehicles are affected the same way you are. Avoid traveling next to them while on the highway.
Tip #4: Drive a Low Profile Vehicle
Although this may not be an option for you, it’s best to drive a vehicle that has a lower profile. For lack of a better term, a low profile vehicle isn’t “top-heavy.” Vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and box trucks are more susceptible to strong winds. Driving a sedan will decrease the severity of the wind’s effect on your control over the vehicle.
Tip #5: Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Although it’s important to keep your head on a swivel, it’s equally pertinent to be on the lookout for fallen branches and other debris that litter the road in front of you. Oftentimes, strong winds are accompanied by heavy rain. The rain can obstruct your view of what’s in front of you.
Getting surprised by an object in the road as the wind beats on your vehicle is another complication you just don’t need. Driving slow and staying off country roads can help eliminate damage to your vehicle as well as keep your passengers safe. Anticipating the road ahead can prevent major accidents.