The Met Office may officially see June 1st as the first day of summer, but drivers across the UK are being warned this week to look out for strong winds and the potential for real problems on the roads that these could cause.
Over the past couple of weeks, we've seen the sun shining, but there's been a change in the weather across the last few days, with heavy rain battering parts of the country, and some areas having been warned about the dangers of high winds to come between today (June 2nd) and the weekend.
The RAC has even said that winds could get so severe, drivers might look at postponing their journeys instead of driving in what could be dangerous conditions.
Spokesman Simon Williams said: "The wind is going to be the central feature of the weather over the next few days – and it's something every motorist is going to notice when they take to the road, especially drivers of high-sided vehicles.
"Our advice is to take extra care, on exposed routes in particular, allow more time to get to your destination, or even delay your journey if possible to avoid driving in the strongest winds."
So, with the Met Office suggesting that winds could get as high as 60 to 70mph in some places over the next few days, what should drivers be doing to make sure they are staying safe?
Avoid exposed roads
Without a doubt, the most dangerous places to drive when it's windy are on exposed country roads. Not only will drivers face the possibility of trees being blown over and blocking the road, there is also the danger of the wind blowing you off course. With no buildings around to keep gusts down, it's easy to have your steering affected by sudden wind.
Of course, it's always important to stay alert on the roads, but when it's windy, it's more vital than ever. Wind, by its very nature, is inconsistent, and you could feel totally fine at one moment, before a sudden gust hits you. The last thing you want is to be swerving into the next lane, so always anticipate the wind and make sure you are holding the wheel properly to avoid being blown off course.
You would be shocked by how much the wind can affect your handling and braking, but it's always important to realise that your driving can be affected by the wind. When it's blowing, slow down a little and you will find it's much easier to control the vehicle.
Look around you
When moving along the road, looking at what is happening to other cars is a good indicator of how your own driving may be hampered. If all cars reaching a certain part of the road are slowing down or veering a little, then it can mean that area is experiencing gusts. Keep that in mind and slow down before you get there.
Finally, making sure that your car is in top shape will protect you against not just winds, but all extreme weather conditions. An example of this can be your tyres. As previously mentioned, wind can already affect handling, and this can be exacerbated if your tyres are not in a good state of health. Always check for punctures, tread depth and any other potential problems, and have new tyres fitted if and when they are needed.
Posted by Danielle Barge