Driving In Heavy Winds

safe driving in high windsAs you may have noticed this winter, conditions in our area have been very cold and windy. Most local drivers have had the not-so-pleasant experience of driving in high winds and snow gusts.

Unfortunately, bad weather is responsible for around a quarter of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of how to handle your vehicle if you find yourself caught driving in strong winds.

To give you an idea of the scale of the problem, weather-related accidents account for 625,000 injuries on our roads every single year. Although accidents due to windy conditions only account for a portion of these, they can still pose a significant problem.


Windy Conditions Can Cause Serious Problems On The Road

windy conditions bridgeThere are many hazards related to driving in high winds. Even an experienced driver can be caught off guard by a strong gust of wind, which has the potential to move a car enough to cause an accident.

This problem is exacerbated on open roads. You should be especially vigilant if you are driving in an open area across flat terrain, especially on a bridge. Crosswinds on a bridge can be lethal if strong enough. The golden rule is to never stop while driving through heavy winds on a bridge.

Strong winds, especially when mixed with rain or snow, can cause significantly decreased visibility. Heavy rain and drifting snow can dramatically increase your chances of being involved in an accident.

High winds also have the strength to rip down trees and power lines, at the same time sending debris onto roadways. Power lines are especially dangerous as they often cannot be seen but can obviously cause serious injuries should your vehicle come into contact with one.


Be Aware Of Vulnerable Vehicles In Strong Winds

While driving in a typical car, strong winds can often just be a minor inconvenience. Other types of vehicles, however, can have significant problems in heavy winds.

If you are driving in high winds in your low profile sedan or SUV, and are struggling to keep your vehicle straight, imagine the difficulty a larger vehicle like a bus or tractor trailer is having.

Be very careful when passing a high-sided vehicle. Not only does the danger of that vehicle veering into you increase, but as you pass the vehicle the winds that were blocked will suddenly hit you on the other side. Unless you are braced for it, you could be pushed off course.


high winds driving

Remember These Key Tips For Driving In Strong Winds

1. Slow down. Keeping control of your vehicle will be easier if you maintain a safe and steady speed.

2. Be vigilant on slippery roads. High winds are bad enough, but when coupled with slippery road conditions and the lessening of the vehicle’s grip on the road surface, the outcome can be serious.

3. Steer sensibly. In strong winds keep your hands firmly on the wheel and be ready to react to sudden movements quicker than usual.

4. Be aware of vulnerable vehicles. Tall and narrow vehicles like buses, vans and tractor trailers are more likely to be adversely affected by heavy winds. Stay tuned to vehicles that are pulling trailers as well.

5. Keep your eyes on the road. Debris can blow onto the road ahead of you and be difficult to spot, especially with traffic blocking your view.

6. Check out the safest route. If winds are strong, then try to avoid the most vulnerable roads. Also avoid bridges when the forecast is calling for high winds.


Know Your Rights In Wind Related Accidents

Don’t assume that a wind-related accident is nobody’s fault. If you are involved in an accident that took place in high winds, then you need to consult with an experienced attorney.

Call Donaghue & Labrum at 610-565-9120. We are just a phone call away from helping you to get the compensation you may be entitled to.