An ESM Public Safety Announcement

At we like our motoring to be that little bit more exciting. It’s possibly why we’ve struggled to understand a recent press release by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, advising on how to drive in windy conditions.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) aims to improve the skills of British drivers. These are a few of our favourite extracts from its advice on driving in high winds:

  • Plan your journey – is there a route with less exposure to the weather and less risk of fallen trees?  Choose a sheltered route if you have the option.

Unfortunately most driving takes place in the outside, which tends to lack shelter. EngageSportMode makes uses of the Tyne Tunnel, but sadly that doesn’t last for ever, leaving ESM exposed to danger. Damn.

  • Watch trees and bushes on the roadside – their branches can show you how strong the wind is.  Look well ahead, that way you don’t need to take your eye off the road and you can see any windy patches before you get to them.

EngageSportMode may be struggling to remember Primary School science lessons, but is still pretty sure that wind is invisible. That’s kind of the problem with it. So we’re not sure just how good you can be at ‘spotting’ wind.

  • Go slow enough to cope with the gusts.  Wind can get under a car and reduce its handling and braking significantly.

But how slow is ‘slow enough’ to cope? 10mph, 50mph? This is all a bit open ended…

  • Go slowly enough to cope with the tree that has fallen right across the road, just round the bend where you can’t see it.

Which tree is this? If the IAM knows there is a tree in the road, why aren’t they telling us exactly where so we can avoid it?!

  • Be careful of debris, try and have space beside you in case you need to dodge it.

Debris from what? Meteors, bits of satellites falling to earth, construction work, a Pastor Maldonado overtaking manoeuvre? Also, is this space in the car to avoid debris, space around the car, general personal space in life?

Whilst ESM is quite clearly being a little bit facetious about what is a genuine road safety issue, it can’t help but think the dangers of driving in high winds could have been explained slightly better.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mud4fun says:


    Our old diesel Land Rovers are more ‘advanced’ then most modern motors as their top speed reduces ‘automatically’ as the wind gets stronger 😉 😉

    More seriously though I have seen some numpties on the roads over the last week including several HGV drivers driving far too fast in near gale force winds. If you are driving an HGV and your truck is veering violently into the middle lane every few hundred yards causing all other road users to brake and swerve, then it would suggest you might want to slow down……

    1. I’ve experienced driving a Defender 90 on the motorway in heavy winds, and I was fairly grateful for it’s ‘active’ speed reduction system!

      It is a serious subject, and one most drivers probably don’t even give any consideration to. Just a shame some of the information put out there by professional organisations doesn’t really hit the mark!

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