Driving in poor conditions is a complete test of your skills as a driver. You may not have the skills of Colin McRae to navigate corners like him, but if you like to drive in extreme weather conditions when going on holiday, do you know what to do when you’re under the cosh? Not only that but the risk of an accident while winter driving or in any extreme circumstance will give you more than you bargained for! If you’re going abroad for a road trip and you are worried about if you’re going to be able to cope, have a look at these two common weather phenomena and get prepared.
DRIVING IN HIGH WINDS
The first thing to say is if you’re in a country that has dangerous weather, or you’re in the middle of monsoon season in China, don’t go driving in it! If you would be safer where you are instead of going out and risking your life, then stay there!
The key points to driving in high winds are:
Slow down! Make sure you leave a larger gap than you normally do between yourself and the vehicles in front. It all depends on what your car if it is built to stand the test of high-speed winds battering the sides of your car. Looking at the New Vauxhall, it gives you the stability you need over a sportier number like your standard Subarus. But regardless of how sturdy your car is, if the winds are strong enough, it’s going to cause you issues. So reduce that speed!
Sudden gusts of wind will cause sudden movements and will make the steering wheel turn. So make sure you have a grip on the wheel firmly. No country-driving hand positions for you! Hands at 9 and 3, please! It will give you total grip control over the wheel.
There are certain gusts that are strong enough to push you into the next lane over. These are more prominent when…
- Emerging into an exposed area from a protected one. Look at the cars that are in front of you to give you a better idea of upcoming surges in wind.
- Crossing over a bridge. The area is so exposed so drive in the middle lane.
- You are driving taller cars, or campers and trucks.
- You are sharing the road with cars that are much larger than your own. They could blow sideways into your lane just as much as you could go into theirs.
Don’t drive over power cables that have come down! If a road is flooded, it could spell disaster. And never leave your car in an area of low-lying land in this instance. It could get swept away.
DRIVING IN FOG
Driving in fog is incredibly stressful. Visibility is very very low. So make sure you are driving with vigilance and have your wits about you.
Make sure you:
- Put the fog lights on or the low beam on. These will shine through fog better than the standard white lights.
- Pump the brakes slightly before entering an area of fog. This will signal the vehicles behind you to keep their distance.
- Before you get to a hill, slow the car down! When you’re driving over the hill, you won’t be able to see if another vehicle is stopped on the other side.