Don’t get the wind up in gusty conditions

Drivers should be aware of the risk of trees and branches being blown down.

Drivers should be aware of the risk of trees and branches being blown down. - Credit: PA

With the recent windy weather a sign of things to come road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is offering tips to help drivers be prepared to cope with the gusty conditions.

Plan your journey – is there a route with less exposure to the weather and less risk of fallen trees? Choose a sheltered route if you have the option.

Strong winds are not constant, they are usually gusty so be prepared by holding the steering wheel firmly.

Overtaking high-sided vehicles or driving past buildings can result in a sudden gust from the side as you clear them.

Give cyclists, motorcyclists, lorries and buses more room than usual. They get blown around by side winds easily. Even pedestrians can be blown about.

You may also want to watch:

Watch trees and bushes on the roadside – their branches can show you how strong the wind is. Look ahead for any windy patches.

Go slow enough to cope with the strong gusts. Wind can get under a car and reduce its handling and braking significantly.

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Keep an eye on what is happening to other vehicles – where they are affected will give you a pre-warning.

Go slowly enough to cope with any tree or branch that has fallen right across the road – just round the bend where you can't see it until you are on top of it.

Be careful of debris, try and have space beside you in case you need to dodge it.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: 'I have seen a parked car moved by the wind.

'Don't underestimate how powerful it is and how it can affect you while in the car,' he added.

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