The risks of driving in the wind
Although many do not believe it, it is; driving on a windy road It can be as dangerous as doing it in rain or snow. We cannot trust ourselves behind the wheel because this invisible enemy is a security threat, especially when it comes in the form of very strong gusts, like the ones we have in our country with the ‘Gérard’ or ‘Fien’ storms.
Capable of modifying the trajectory of a vehicle, which may end up hitting the median, colliding with another road user or even going off the road, it is advisable to drive with great caution in this type of weather situation. In fact, it is key to staying safe to avoid what is known as ‘screen effect‘ in driving.
The ‘screen effect’ is a dangerous consequence that can occur when we come out of a tunnel, we pass from protected areas to more open places or overtaking a bulky vehicle, such as a truck or bus. In those moments, our vehicle can suffer a strong crosswind gust and, for this reason, move dangerously towards the median, against another car or, even, off the road.
you shouldn’t be nervous
Likewise, when the wind blows strongly on the road, many drivers can become nervous about the effect it may have on our driving. And it is that a strong gust of wind could end up destabilizing our vehicle.
Thus, and as the DGT has warned, the best method to prevent it is know its existence. When leaving a tunnel or a sheltered area, it must be assumed that there will be a windy push and, consequently, the steering wheel must be turned slightly in the opposite direction.
This sudden gust of wind must also be expected when overtaking large vehicles so that, when the maneuver is complete, slightly turn the direction.
Also, and once on the road, if as drivers we feel that there are strong gusts of wind but we do not know the direction in which it is blowing, a good trick is to look at the possible swaying of the treesan unequivocal proof that will indicate the direction of this meteorological phenomenon.
Tricks to avoid it
As we say, the goal is to be prepared to turn the vehicle slightly in the direction from which the wind is blowing. This is how you counteract the force that you are receiving and you do not lose control of the vehicle.
We must be attentive to the tunnel exit like at the time of overtake a vehicle. Tunnel exits can be very dangerous as determining which side the wind is coming from is nearly impossible. We must hold the steering wheel well to keep the vehicle stable. Be careful with the cessation of the wind, if you are not attentive you can end up invading the opposite direction of a road or another lane.
Stay focused at all times and hold the wheel firmly. Thus, in the event of a jolt or push from the wind, you will not be unawares and you will be able to counteract it without major inconveniences, thus maintaining safe driving and not startling other drivers.
It is true that it can occur in different circumstances, as we mentioned, but it is also true that this screen effect when driving usually occurs more intensely when we drive at a speed greater than 50 km/h. Of course, if the wind comes against us, the consumption of the vehicle will rise considerably. So if we have to carry bulky luggage or everything does not fit in the trunk, it is best to buy a closed trunk for the roof racksince these have much more aerodynamic shapes.
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