Beware! It’s that time of the year again, the time that many Coloradans feel like they are in The Wizard of OZ being blown around.  At times, the winds have been so strong that you wouldn’t be surprised to see cows flying by outside of your window.  Don’t forget that these strong winds can affect your driving so it’s important to be especially mindful of these four things:

1.       High winds can get under a car and affect its handling and breaking significantly.  Strong gusts can take you by surprise so slowing down will help you to anticipate these gusts.

2.       Semis and vehicles that have high sides can be hazardous when passing them.  Driving past these large vehicles can result in a sudden gust from the side as you clear so make sure you are prepared for strong gusts when passing.

3.       Hold firm to the steering wheel.  Strong winds are not constant they usually come in gusts and will catch people off guard.  Don’t grip too tightly, but hold a firm grasp on the steering wheel.

4.       Allow more room than usual.  In particular, give cyclists and motorcyclists, busses and semis more room than usual.  They get blown around easily by side winds.

The last thing to remember is to make sure that you park your vehicle in a safe place during high winds.  Avoid parking under trees, near buildings, telephone poles or other structures that can be affected by the winds.  You’d hate to look out your office window to see a cow land on your car!