How can I stay safe behind the wheel in stormy conditions?

Storms Dudley and Eunice are set to batter parts of the UK, bringing high winds and heavy rain. Storm Dudley will cross the northern half of the UK from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, while Storm Eunice will bring strong winds and the chance of some snow for parts of the country on Friday, meaning that vast areas will be affected by this turbulent weather.

But what should you do if you’re on the road and these storms are approaching? Here, we’ve got some key tips to bear in mind.

If in doubt, leave it out

If your journey isn’t essential and you’re in the projected area that these storms will hit then it’s a good idea to just stay put.

The safest place you can be is at home or in a building, so if your journey isn’t entirely necessary then it’s best to just leave it until the bad weather subsides.

Pack some essentials

Stormy conditions throw up all kinds of issues, so packing some essentials is a great idea. We’d suggest some warm clothing, a reflective or high-vis jacket, some snacks and water, all of which can help should you have to stop. Plus, a power bank for your phone could also be a great addition to this kit, as it’ll allow you to charge your device without having to plug it into the vehicle and drain its battery.

Take your time

If you do need to venture out then we’d advise taking your time. Slow down and make sure you’ve got plenty of time to react to any potential obstacles or instances.

Lowering your speed gives you a better chance of avoiding anything that might be blown into the road or vehicles that may have been pushed off-course.

Keep on major roads

When travelling during stormy conditions it’s a good idea to stay on major roads – ideally motorways and A-roads. These areas have fewer trees at the side and, because they’re a little wider, give drivers a touch more space should they need to take avoidance measures. Plus, they’re better lit.

Take extra care when passing high-sided vehicles

Lorries and trucks can be more easily pushed off course by high winds, so it’s a good idea to give them a little extra space when you need to pass them.

Plus, be prepared that once your overtake is complete, you might get hit with an extra gust of wind – it’s worth remembering this so that you’re ready to steer into the wind just in case.

Park away from trees

When you do come to a stop, be mindful of where you’re leaving your car. High winds cause havoc to trees, so if you can it’s best to leave your car in a wide-open space that is away from the threat of them falling.

What have safety groups said?

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “It’s vital drivers plan ahead and keep tuned to weather forecasts over the next few days to understand where is likely to see the greatest disruption from the weather.”