It's important to keep both hands on the wheel when driving in windy conditions.

6 tips for driving in windy weather

The summer is known for lots of things, like warm temperatures, picnics, sunbathing, and water sports.

Those are the summer traditions you can count on. What you can’t always predict is how the weather is going to be from one season to the next – or even one day from the other. Some summers, especially in certain parts of the country, the season is picture perfect, with wall-to-wall sunshine and some rainy days “sprinkled in” now and then. While for others, the season is remembered for its weather extremes, be it in the form of thunderstorms, hurricanes, or tornadoes.

No matter what summer brings, however, the wind is one of the “elements” that’s shared with every condition. Heavy gusts can blow both on days when it’s dark and dreary or bright and sunny. Most of these winds are harmless, but when you’re out on the roads, gusts are amplified, making it hard steer on highway straightaways, in the city, or rounding corners in rural retreats.

In short, no matter where you go, you always have to be mindful of what Mother Nature will churn up next. If you ever find yourself in the midst of a heavy windstorm while driving in your car, here are a few tips to help you avoid an accident:

Keep both hands on the wheel

It’s always a good idea to drive with both hands on the wheel, but it’s particularly important when it’s windy out. When the wind blows, you can feel the car shifting one way or the other, and with only one hand on the wheel, you risk veering into an oncoming lane. Keeping your left and right hand at the 10 o’clock position and 2 o’clock position, respectively, will make it easier to stay straight and adjust accordingly.

Be aware of your surroundings

Some vehicles are more susceptible to high wind gusts than others. Commercial trucks are chief among them, as there’s more surface area to contend with. If you’re on the highway, make sure you remain either ahead or behind these big rigs to avoid a potential accident should it veer into your lane.

Avoid speeding

Besides being against the law, going faster than the posted speed limit, contrary to popular belief, will not help you diminish the effects of heavy wind gusts. If anything, you should lower your rate of speed so that you have more control of the vehicle and can adjust the steering wheel if you feel the car moving to one side or the other.

Watch for falling objects

If you’re in a wooded area and the wind has picked up, be very careful of falling objects, like downed tree branches, twigs, or tree limbs. These are more susceptible to breaking and could enter the path where you’re driving. Also, try to be cognizant if there are other vehicles that are carrying goods in truck beds, like mattresses, or furniture, as these also could become flying projectiles.

Park in an open area

Hopefully, by the time you get to your destination, the winds will have died down. But if they’re still forceful, ensure that you park someplace that’s a distance away from nearby trees, power lines, or other standing structures.

Be weather alert

Oftentimes wind storms come at a surprise, which is why you need to be ready when they strike should they happen on the roads. But meteorologists are able to track the wind in their daily weather reports. Because of this, you should make sure that you’re always aware of what the weather is going to be like on a daily basis. If heavy wind is in the forecast, stay off the roads if possible.