Navigating Windy Roads: Essential Tips for Van Drivers
Driving a van on a windy day can be a challenging experience. The size and shape of vans make them particularly susceptible to strong gusts of wind. In this blog post, we’ll explore some essential tips to help you navigate windy conditions safely and confidently.
1. The Importance of a Firm Grip on the Steering
Wheel Why It Matters: Strong winds can catch you off guard, causing your van to swerve or drift unexpectedly. This is especially true for high-sided vehicles like vans which present a larger surface area for the wind.
Best Practices: To maintain control, keep a firm but relaxed grip on the steering wheel. This approach ensures you can react swiftly to sudden gusts without overcorrecting. Be mindful not to grip too tightly as this can lead to fatigue and reduce your steering effectiveness.
2. Anticipating Wind Gusts
Staying Alert: Windy conditions are often more pronounced in open areas such as bridges or rural landscapes, as well as when passing gaps in hedges or buildings. These locations can funnel wind, leading to sudden, strong gusts.
Proactive Driving: When approaching these areas, be extra cautious and ready to adjust your steering to compensate for these gusts.
3. Mindfulness Around Larger Vehicles
Understanding the Risks: Larger vehicles, like lorries and buses, are more affected by strong winds. They can be pushed around more easily, which might lead to unexpected lane changes or swerves.
Safety Measures: Keep a safe distance when driving near or overtaking larger vehicles. This distance gives you more time to react if they are suddenly impacted by a wind gust. On motorways and dual carriageways, aim to pass these vehicles quickly and safely to reduce risk.
Driving a van in windy conditions doesn't have to be a daunting task. By maintaining a firm grip on your steering wheel, anticipating wind gusts in certain areas, and being mindful of larger vehicles around you, you can ensure a safer journey. Remember, the key is to stay alert, proactive, and prepared for the unexpected.