Regardless of one’s stance on global warming, climate change, or the Mayan catastrophe, it cannot be denied that the weather has become increasingly bizarre in recent years. Extremely potent tornadoes are randomly touching down, and the hurricane season seems to last the entire year. It is only a matter of time before Zelda becomes a tempest.
In addition to torrential downpours, snowfall measured in fathoms, and storms named after characters from video games, bizarre weather is accompanied by wind. Strong winds. It can be strong and steady, or it can gust for three seconds and inflict havoc. But regardless of the type of wind you’re dealing with (unless it’s a gentle marine breeze that causes palm trees to sway like hula dancers), driving in it is never a pleasure.
Let’s examine five strategies for traveling in high winds that will earn you a coveted entry on FailBlog.
5: Follow Things That Are Being Pulled by Other Things
Whether the wind is steady or gusting, if it is powerful, it will affect any trailer on the road. The wind can move tractor trailers, campers, and watercraft as long as they are being towed along a road.
Take into account: The trailer lacks the ability to turn its wheels or decelerate down on its own. It is connected to the towing vehicle at a single point: the attachment. It typically has large, towering, square sides that are aerodynamically inefficient. The wind will not approach the trailer in an aerodynamic manner; instead, it will push against it from the side, like an aggressor.
If you want to do it incorrectly, you will now attempt to draft behind the trailer in front of you on the road. Get extremely close, so that the front of your vehicle is almost underneath the trailer’s fender. This is a foolish practice even on the calmest, sunniest days; on a day with strong winds, it is simply foolish.
Pull out of that drafting position as quickly as possible and attempt to pass the entire apparatus as it sways in the wind to earn additional dunderhead points. How far will that get you? (Hint: It does not position you safely and precisely in the middle of the lane.)
4: Go Very Fast
When someone breaks a speed record, officials note whether or not the breeze was blowing in his or her direction. Like perhaps the motorist gained a little something extra? Well, if a little wind is sufficient to send the indicator around the speedometer, then a lot of wind must be fantastic.
If you can see the storm approaching, with black clouds on the horizon and possibly lightning streaks, you’re in the clear. You will drive faster than the tempest. Ignore the fact that your car has 115 horsepower on a good day and is an ancient diesel Volkswagen bus that a newborn feline can outrun. You can do it!
When the wind pushes you off course at speed, there is no time to make a course correction. You are not afraid of peril, but you are concerned about this risk. Wherever the wind takes you is where you will go. In addition, any corrections you attempt will likely be overcorrections, propelling you rapidly in the opposite direction. So, proceed!
3: Drive a Tall, Skinny Car
As with supermodels, the taller and slenderer a vehicle is, the greater its ability to be blown over by the breeze.
Imagine a low-slung supercar, such as a Lamborghini, and a 1976 full-size van. In your imagination, the van may have coyotes airbrushed on the side, or it may not. Place these vehicles on an Iowa highway when a storm is approaching and the wind is swirling like Indiana Jones fending off snakes.
The Lamborghini has no surface against which the wind can press; each panel has been made aerodynamically slippery, so the wind simply passes by. Additionally, because it is so low to the earth, downforce helps it maintain traction on the road.
The van, on the other hand, has a great deal of surface area against which the wind can lash. Passengers inside can sense the vehicle rocking along the road. Probably, they can also hear the airbrushed wolves wailing (but then again, that may just be inside their heads). This van has ample ground clearance, so downforce won’t be of any assistance.
The moral? Obtain a Lamborghini without delay. It’s a matter of protection.
2: Try All Your Fanciest Maneuvers
You have spent countless hours behind the wheel honing your slides, left-foot braking, and slingshot out of the corners. Granted, the steering wheel was connected to your Xbox, and your driving skills were honed in Dirt and Forza 4.
However, it is now time to evaluate those moves. Since the game developers spent a great deal of time ensuring that the driver feedback was realistic, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that turning and braking require a great deal of traction. Driving in a straight line could be accomplished with plywood instead of tires, but turning and braking require traction with the road surface.
Wind velocity reduces friction. It causes your car to rise slightly, pushes it off course, and frequently brings torrents of rain that make the road extremely slick. Try to turn the highway into your very own Nürburgring or Talladega Superspeedway instead of driving cautiously with both hands on the wheel and eyes monitoring for debris. Because video games and actual life are essentially identical, right?
1: Go Puddle Jumping
It’s okay that you couldn’t evade the storm in your four-cylinder economy car. You can continue to travel recklessly in the wind!
Remember that wind frequently ushers in drenching cyclones. These storms arrive quickly and quickly fill gutters, waterways, and ditches. Utilize all of the turbid water and drive directly into it. Neither should you let up on the gas key! How can a person hydroplane if they are not moving quickly enough to skim across the surface of the water? Wind can only be beneficial here. Once you’ve lost traction and your vehicle is gliding across the water, a gust of high-speed wind can propel your vehicle in the desired direction.
If you have tried any of these truly terrible ways to drive in the wind and are now trapped in a ditch, please remain there while the rest of us attempt to drive slowly and safely to the next parking lot to wait out the storm like intelligent drivers. We will summon you a tow truck. Eventually.