Winds rarely blow in a steady manner and wind gusts can catch you unawares, no matter how experienced a driver you are. When you rent a car in New England, expect sudden gusts at any time, but particularly on open stretches of road, when passing bridges, or gaps in hedges, and when overtaking high-sided vehicles. Whether it’s strong winds, snow, floods, or fog, if extreme weather is forecasted when you rent a car in New England, it’s always best to postpone your travel plans. Here are some of the hazards of high wind and how you can overcome them.
The Dangers of Driving in High Winds
There are three main problems of driving in high winds when you rent a car in New England:
- You could be blown off course
- Other vehicles could be blown into your path
- There could be trees or other debris on the road
If you’re looking for a New England SUV rental, then know that SUVs come with safety issues during bad weather in general. An SUV has a high center of gravity, and is more prone to tipping over in high winds than cars with a lower center of gravity.
Tips for Driving in High Winds When You Rent a Car in New England
Since the high winds can make your car feel very unsteady, it is important to practice good driving techniques, including:
- Keep both hands on the wheel. If you’re being buffeted by the wind or slipstreams of other vehicles, now is not the time to relax with one hand. Use both hands and use a very firm grip.
- Slow down a bit. The faster you’re travelling, the further off-course you’re going to drift if you get hit by a sudden gust.
- Keep your distance from all other vehicles – particularly high-sided vehicles, as they are most affected by high winds.
- If you break down, keep in mind that any vehicle could be blown into your path. Move to a safe location away from your vehicle and then wait for your car to be rescued.
- If you see twigs or small branches on the road, there could easily be a tree up ahead. Hitting large debris such as that could be fatal to your car or yourself. Drive with great care.
- Always carry a fully-charged cell phone and warm, weatherproof clothing in case you get stuck.
- Plan journeys carefully and check the weather regularly.
How to Drive an SUV in High Winds
Some people drive their SUVs like they would drive a car, and that is the worst thing you could do when you rent a car in New England. Here are some adjustments to make that will keep you safer:
- Use longer wait times. Under good conditions, you should leave 4 seconds between you and the car in front. If the weather is bad, leave at least 10 seconds. Due to the heavier weight of SUVs, you need more time in order to react quickly enough.
- Adjust those honking mirrors wisely. Adjust your mirrors so that you are no longer able to see the back of your own vehicle. If you can see the SUV in the mirror, you probably can’t see the cars hiding in your blind spot.
- Store passengers and cargo as centrally as possible. Overweighting the front or the rear of the vehicle can reduce your ability to maneuver it.
Don’t let a high winds deter your trip. Use extra precaution and common sense and you can still have a great time when you rent a car in New England. Visit our website to make your New England rental car reservation.