The Serious Problem of Crosswinds and What You Can Do about It
A crosswind is more than just the name of Isuzu's once-popular but now-discontinued MPV line. Defined as strong winds blowing across one’s direction of travel, crosswinds are a danger to every motorist on the road. It’s been known to blow cars straight into the opposite lane or completely off the bitumen. Don’t believe it? Watch this video.
Vehicles with tall ground clearance are especially prone to getting toppled over, especially when traveling on expressways where severe wind gusts are the norm. Fortunately, there are techniques you can apply once you notice a crosswind starting to impose its will on your car.
1. Keep your eyes peeled
Naturally, you should always be alert while driving, but you need to be extra observant in windy weather. While making sure your eyes are on the road ahead of you, be aware of anything from the side of the road that can suddenly move into your path, such as lampposts, tree branches, and other debris. If you see an oncoming truck, move to the opposite side and give it plenty of clearance as you drive past.
2. Don't panic
Panicking only makes matters worse. If you feel like you’re losing control, take a few deep breathes to calm yourself, and bring your focus back on the road and the tasks at hand.
3. Drive slow
You may be tempted to drive fast to get away from the gusts, but this will only give you less control of your vehicle. Not only that, you'll have less time to react in case the unfortunate happens. Avoid these issues by driving slow. Speaking of control, keep in mind the optimal hand positions on the steering wheel so you can perform emergency maneuvers quickly and conveniently.
4. Face the wind
If you feel the crosswind applying force, gently steer into the wind's direction to bring your car back to position. Avoid any sudden movements, and only steer in a cool, calm, and calculated manner.
5. Prepare your car
You enhance your safety by making sure your car is equipped to handle crosswinds. Make sure your tires are always properly inflated and in good working condition so you'll have a good grip of the road. Your suspension system should also be well-maintained and serviced regularly. Address any suspension issues immediately.
Some cars come with electronic stabilizing systems that detect crosswind and makes the necessary adjustments to counteract with crosswind interference. If you travel on expressways regularly, it would be helpful for you to purchase a car with this feature.