Driving in high winds can be extremely hazardous for van drivers so you need to ensure you take precautions, so you aren’t caught off guard! Gusts of wind can easily throw you off course or blow other road users into your lane especially in open stretches of road. So, we have put together our top driving tips for driving in high winds…
If you drive a smaller van you may not feel the impact of the wind as much but if you drive a larger van you will feel your van wobble in the wind and possibly swerve into incoming traffic.
Before starting any long journey, you should check the weather, if you know there are high winds try to avoid driving unless you need to. When planning your route, ensure you avoid any exposed stretches of roads or bridges as these are serious hazards to vans in the wind.
When driving in the wind make sure you drive slower than usual because driving fast can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. The handling and braking of your van can be affected significantly if a gust of wind gets under your van.
Ensure you leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front especially with cyclists, motorcyclists and lorries as they can very easily be blown off course.
You are more likely to feel the impact of the wind when you are passing tall buildings, crossing bridges or driving in open stretches of roads so make sure you keep both hands firmly on your wheel and slow your speed down.
If you are overtaking a high-sided vehicle be prepared for a sudden gust of wind once you have cleared the vehicle. If you are worried about manoeuvering around a vehicle then lower your speed and wait until the wind has dropped.
When you are parking, make sure you park in a safe place, park away from any trees or anything else that may fall onto your van.
Be Wary of Your Surroundings
A well as focusing on your driving you need to make sure you keep your eyes on the road ahead and to the side of you. Of course be wary of high-sided vehicles, cyclists and motorcyclists but if you see a vehicle towing a caravan or trailer try to avoid being level with it or overtaking it as a gust of wind can cause the vehicle to swerve and lose control of the trailer or caravan.
High winds can cause debris, branches or trees to fall and blow onto the road, so stay alert in case your path becomes blocked. Fallen debris can also cause road or lane closures so check traffic news before you set off and be prepared for temporary closures or speed limit changes.
Wind Control Van Technology
New van technology has been introduced on newer models to aid with driving in the wind. Ford offer Side Wind stabilisation for the Ford Transit Custom and Ford Transit which helps van drivers stay in their lane in windy conditions using sensors.
Mercedes introduced crosswind assist which is similar to Ford’s side wind stabilisation as it corrects the course of your van when the wind has affected your driving line. They also have Lane Keeping Assist which alerts the driver when they are unintentionally leaving their lane and the van manoeuvres the vehicle back into its lane.
Wind assistance technology is also now available on the following vehicles:
VW Crafter and VW Transporter T6.1.
Iveco Daily 2019.
Renault Master 2019.
Vauxhall Movano 2019.
Clearly, these manufacturers believe that this wind assistance technology is safer and more beneficial than using your brakes.
We all know how unpredictable British weather can be so always stay vigilant so you can safely drive-in all-weather conditions.
Check out our range of wind deflectors that are perfect when driving in windy or wet conditions, you can enjoy the fresh air without the noise of strong winds and rain! They fit over your windows or into the window channel and will ensure you have a quiet and comfortable drive.