we say that when you think of winter driving, you will normally assume it means driving in snowy and icy conditions; however, these are far from the only risks you may face during the colder months. Heavy rain, flooding, high winds and fog can all pose very dangerous risks and can sometimes catch drivers out.
As with all things related to driving, everything needs to be prepared and planned in order to achieve the safest and most effective drive possible. Being caught off guard can be dangerous, and many potential risks can and should be avoided to ensure safety at all times.
- When planning your journey, think as far ahead as possible. Are there routes that you may be taking that are particularly exposed and prone to cross winds? If so, consider an alternative and more sheltered route
- Drive carefully, with enough caution that you can deal safely and adequately with sudden strong gusts. High winds can get under a vehicle and compromise the efficiency of the braking and steering
- Be very careful when overtaking other high-sided vehicles driving past larger vehicles can result in a sudden gust from the side as you clear
- Make sure you hold the steering wheel firmly. Strong winds are not constant; they'ÃÂÃÂre often gusty and can catch you off guard, consequently leading to dangerous swerving
- Give cyclists and motorcyclists extra room and time when passing as side winds can blow them around easily. Motorcyclists should avoid travelling in high winds as high cross winds can affect their handling of the motorcycle, however, still remain wary of them in your mirrors
- Keep an eye on what is happening to other vehicles. When they are affected, you will have a pre-warning. For example, they may appear to be blown off course
- Keep extra distance between you and the vehicle in front; consider increasing the two-second rule to five-seconds
- Try to ensure that you park your truck or lorry in a safe place. If possible, avoid parking under trees, near buildings, etc.
While some of these tips and pointers may appear obvious, we can all be held accountable for losing concentration, even for a split second. However, in such potentially dangerous conditions, it is vitally important that you maintain concentration and refresh yourself on the above tips.
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