This week’s tips from the IAM’s director of standards, Mark Lewis, are about driving safely in storms. As storm Imogen brings strong gusts of wind across the country, here’s how you can make your journey a safe one for the road.
• If weather conditions are extremely bad avoid starting your journey. Take note of any weather warnings and traffic updates in your local area – this will help you make an informed decision.
• Driving in strong winds can be extremely dangerous, unsettling your car and even pushing it to change direction. Grip the steering wheel firmly and be mindful of vulnerable road users, such as motorcyclists, who will need more room than usual.
• Always look well ahead for gaps between buildings and be careful when overtaking larger vehicles – in both instances gusts might be particularly strong.
• The movement of trees on the roadside can give a useful indication of wind strength too.
• Be wary of debris on roads and allow yourself enough space to move around it if necessary. Driving at a steady speed will also ensure you give yourself more time to slow down before a hazard.
Mark said: “Keep an eye on the vehicles ahead of you – looking for clues as to how the wind may be affecting them will give you advanced warning of where it may be gusting strongly.
“Stormy weather can be extremely unpredictable – be prepared for the worst. And as always, avoid the journey where possible.”