What snow or ice, the rain or the fog, the wind It can be very dangerous, if not more, while driving. For this reason, the DGT recalls a series of advice to take into account when this inclement weather enters the equation.
Although it is not exclusive to winter, it tends to occur frequently in the coldest months of the year. And it is especially dangerous if blowing sideways in strong gusts or gusts. In addition, the air can also cause various effects while driving, such as the screen effect or scissor effect.
Side wind: keep an eye on direction and speed
Wind gusts, essentially if they are lateral to the road, can destabilize a car or motorcycle, and other light vehicles, which translates into a modification of the trajectory “in tenths of a second”, being able to launch the protection elements of the road or off the road against another vehicle.
💨The wind can destabilize your vehicle and cause a dangerous road.
👉Hold the steering wheel firmly and be extremely careful when exiting tunnels, when overtaking🚌🚚, on bridges or open areas.
– Directorate General for Traffic (@DGTes) December 28, 2021
For this reason, as the DGT recalls, you must pay special attention when the wind blows strong and does so in gusts, since our driving skills can help neutralize its effects and thus avoid a possible accident, being key elements such as direction or aspects such as speed.
– Observe the surroundings: the first thing is to detect the direction and intensity at which the wind is blowing. To do this we can use wind socks (anemoscopes) that are sometimes located on the sides of the road or in the vegetation (trees or shrubs that are in the median or in the vicinity of the road).
– Take a firm grip on the steering wheel: If we observe strong gusts of wind, which can also be seen because it can push the car or motorcycle, it is advisable to hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands and, if necessary, make light and gentle corrections against the direction of the wind .
– Avoid sudden movements at the wheel: as with snow, rain or ice, sudden movements in the direction of the car are not friends of the air, as they can favor lurching.
– Speed down: a high speed is not a good companion to the wind either. The DGT recommends adapting it to the force of the wind, which basically translates into reducing it, since the slower you drive, the less lateral displacement will be in the event of being hit by a blast of air.
It is also advisable to drive with a high rpm, as control increases over the car. For this we can slow down, reducing to a lower than usual. In automatic cars it can also be managed either from the lever or cams to ensure greater retention.
– Drive in the center of the lane: since the lateral wind can move us, either to another lane or off the road, the ideal is to try to run through the center of the road. A maxim that must be fulfilled especially on conventional roads, since if they have only one lane in each direction, it can drag us in the opposite direction and we can suffer a frontal collision.
– Baca no, chests yes: the ideal is not to carry luggage on the roof or for example bicycles, since it affects the aerodynamics and makes the car even more unstable. However, if we have no choice but to carry cargo beyond the trunk, the ideal is to do it in closed chests or trunks, as they are designed to offer the least possible resistance.
The air on the road and its effects at the wheel
The road wind can favor two effects while driving that are especially dangerous: screen effect and the scissor effect. This is how they are produced and how they can be avoided.
When the wind blows in a lateral direction with respect to the road, that is to say perpendicular to it, it can produce this effect in certain situations like for example to pass a bulky vehicle, but also to go through a tunnel or when passing a building, since they operate as parapets.
With #wind a lot of caution.
When exiting a tunnel or when passing a bulky vehicle, the “screen effect” can occur.
– Directorate General for Traffic (@DGTes) March 20, 2021
In the case of passing a truck or bus, This covers us the side wind in case of blowing from the right. In this way, firstly, our car can modify its trajectory laterally towards the truck by ceasing to be affected by the blast, and then launch ourselves in the direction it blows when we pass it.
Therefore, it is advisable slightly change the direction both when you start to pass the truck and when you leave its cover, for which it is necessary to be forewarned. In the first case his is to correct the trajectory by separating us from the vehicle and in the second against the direction of the air so that it does not drag us.
And the same applies when entering or exiting a tunnel, performing the same movements behind the wheel.
Another effect that a strong wind can produce is the so-called scissor effect, although it only applies in case of tow a trailer or of the articulated vehicles.
Basically this effect can make the trailer turns towards the car or tractor unit being hit by the wind from the side and can even reach overturn.
And this is tremendously dangerous, since the trailer can hit other vehicles when invading another lane, in addition to preventing the vehicle from continuing to circulate, increasing the risk of range.
Although to minimize this effect we can slow down until we notice that we can pull it without destabilizing ustechnology also helps to avoid it.
It is the case of ESP equipped cars, a system that, by the way, mandatory in Europe since November 2014 on all newly built cars and vans.
ESP, or stability control, not only prevents potential loss of grip: this technology also detects any signs of instability, including a side wind blow. So, if you do the same, acts on the brakes automatically, adjusting speed to avoid the dreaded trailer turn or roll over.
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