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Stay safe during high winds

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:00 GMT on Monday 23rd May, 2011.
AS THE winds pick up and reach high speeds of up to eighty miles an hour, in Cumbernauld and Scotland, we thought we'd give you some helpful safety advice.
If your inside the house ensure your windows and doors are securely locked, an ensure that your pets are in a safe, warm location, inside your home. Please also ensure that any loose items, outside your home are secured, as these items may cause damage, if swept up.
If you are a pedestrian please avoid areas of high foliage and take care, wherever you are walking.
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If you are on the roads the AA issues the following advice:

In heavy wind conditions (60mph +) the pressure(s) put on your car can go up by as many as four times. Wind rarely blows in steady, straight line and sudden gusts can catch-out even the most experienced driver. Expect sudden gusts at any time but particularly on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or gaps in hedges or when overtaking high-sided vehicles.

There are three potential problems to be aware of if you're driving in high winds

Your direction many shift: To attempt to avoid this situation ensure that both your hands are on the wheel, and expect gusts on exposed stretches of road or when passing high sided vehicles. It is also very important to reduce your speed; higher speeds mean that you're more likely to drift in a sudden gust before you get the vehicle back under control.

Other vehicles: High-sided vehicles and caravans are most affected by high winds- but sudden gusts can blow any vehicle off course. For your safety, and the safety of other road users please keep your distance from all other vehicles.

Breaking Down: If you break down on the motorway or on any busy road, in high winds it’s important to note that lorries and other high-sided vehicles could be blown off course suddenly and may veer onto the hard shoulder. For your safety it is recommended that you move to a safe location, away from the vehicle, rather than wait in the car to be rescued.

Debris on the roads: Trees or branches will come down when winds are high. If you notice debris on the roads, reduce your speed and drive with care and attention; hitting debris at speed could be fatal, particularly on country roads, early in the morning.  

Additional safety: In case of an emergency, always carry a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.

Plan journeys carefully and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly – low speed limits or even temporary closures may be imposed on exposed bridges and road closures due to falling debris or accidents will be more frequent.

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