Keep a Firm Grip on the Steering Wheel and Keep Speed Down

May 2020

News & Campaigns

Take Warning Signs Seriously

Warning sign sidewind

When trees and bushes lean dangerously to the side, when the wind shakes your vehicle, and when dark clouds gather in the sky, it usually means that a storm is not far off. In this situation, car drivers need to prepare for strong crosswinds and squalls.

The most important rules in crosswinds are: Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, keep speed down, and be prepared for sudden gusts of wind. In these conditions, vehicles can be forced far to the side, and trucks can even be overturned in extreme cases. Driving at higher speeds increases this risk.

Passing trucks or buses, driving past clearings, or exiting tunnels require the driver’s full attention. Once the vehicle leaves the slipstream, the storm may abruptly grab hold of the vehicle, making it necessary to counter-steer vigorously. Particular care should also be taken on bridges and plateaus: Gusts can strike unhindered here. However, branches that are torn down by the storm or any debris that is swirling around can also suddenly become obstacles or can end up on the windshield, thus immediately obstructing the view.

Vehicles with large side surfaces, such as trucks, buses, and vans, as well as motor homes, SUVs, or cars with roof boxes are particularly susceptible to gusts of wind. The more sensitively the vehicle responds to crosswinds, the more the speed must be reduced.

Car drivers can determine the direction of the wind and how strongly it is blowing from the incline of trees and bushes on the side of the road. In windy weather, it is recommended to pay particular attention to the corresponding warning signs and windsocks and to adjust driving behavior.

In a strong storm, drivers should pause their journey as soon as possible and wait at a suitable location until the situation has improved. However, drivers should not park in the immediate vicinity of trees where branches are swirling around and trees can be blown over. This presents an acutely life-threatening situation.

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