Driving in high winds

Most drivers are cautious when driving on snowy roads or during heavy rain – but many still don’t recognise the dangers of driving in high winds.

For severe weather warnings

Before you travel in severe weather conditions, keep up to date with the latest weather information:

Stormy weather

Storms with excessively high winds are becoming the norm in recent years. When the weather forecast is advising that storm force winds are on the way. It is always best to avoid unnecessary journeys, but if you have no option and have to drive in high winds then be prepared for sudden and powerful gusts, particularly when you are driving on exposed stretches of motorways and other roads, crossing bridges and passing high-sided vehicles.

Try to avoid driving in storm force winds by planning a route with the least exposure to the bad weather.

Be prepared for the dangers of driving in very windy weather

  • Drive at a modest speed – the faster you drive, the more a gust can push you off course. It will take you a bit longer to get the car back under full control.
  • You can be blown of course – keep both hands firmly on the wheel. You’ll need all your concentration to negotiate being buffeted by wind and the slipstream of nearby cars.
  • Other vehicles – be particularly mindful of high sided vehicles including lorries, coaches, caravans and Transit vans as they may be masking a gust or worse they may get blown into your path.
  • Cyclist and motorcyclist – these road users are vulnerable at the best of times, but particularly in adverse weather conditions. They can easily get blown around in strong winds and put in added danger.

Watch out for fallen trees

  • Trees on the road – driving during storm force winds you may encounter trees, branches or other debris that have been blown down onto the road. Hitting obstacles like this could be fatal, so don’t forget keep your speed down and be alert at all times.

Be careful where you park

  • Parking – park your car in a safe place, and avoid parking under trees and other hazards.
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