4 Driving Tips for Gusty Conditions

Driving in High Winds

When the Wind Kicks up, Keep Your Wheels on the Road

When tropical storms begin forming offshore and the skies begin darkening, being on the road can be dangerous for many reasons. One of them is high winds.

The high winds of a tropical storm or hurricane can push you out of your lane and into another vehicle – even off the road altogether.

If you get caught in gusty conditions, keep calm, grip the steering wheel and follow these guidelines to help get you through the storm.

  1. Get off the road: If you can find a sheltered place to park that’s protected from the wind, waiting out the storm may be your best bet. Just be sure to get well off the roadway and away from potential dangers, such as trees, buildings, power lines and flood-prone areas.
     
  2. Drive at a safe speed: Allow yourself a greater cushion behind other cars. This gives you more time to correct for wind gusts that you see buffeting the vehicles ahead, and more time to respond to other surprises. Be ready to take evasive action if another vehicle is blown into your path, or if you encounter downed power lines, flooding or other road debris.
     
  3. Hold on: A powerful gust of wind can unexpectedly shift your car and your steering wheel, potentially jerking it right out of your hands. Use both hands to grip the steering wheel firmly at or near the 9 o’clock position on the left and the 3 o’clock position on the right.
     
  4. Exercise greater caution in exposed areas: Flat plains offer little resistance to slow the wind, and a high bridge that crosses a canyon is particularly susceptible to strong winds. When you transition from a protected area with little wind into one of these exposed areas with strong wind, be ready for the unpredictable effects.

Your first instinct when the wind kicks up may be to hit the gas and speed through it to a safer area. However, slowing down and exercising some caution – or pulling off the road altogether – is likely your best bet.

Remember, if a tropical storm or hurricane is threatening your area, keep your gas tank full and your mobile phone charged so you’re prepared to follow any evacuation orders.

If you’d like to review your auto insurance or home insurance coverage to better understand how it protects you from damage related to high wind, contact your independent insurance agent today. Your independent agent can help you find solid ground.

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