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Do you know how to drive safely in heavy winds?

Now that the fall season is here in Illinois, it's safe to assume that the weather will be taking a turn for the worse at some point in the near future.

In addition to rain and fog, heavy winds may show up from time to time. While this changes your approach as a driver, it doesn't mean that you are able to stay off the road altogether. After all, you have places to be.

There are many things you can do to drive safely in heavy wind, including the following:

-- Be ready for gusts. If you're in an area that is prone to wind gusts, such as a high point on a highway, make sure you're ready for a gust at any moment.

-- Keep an eye out for large vehicles, such as commercial trucks. Due to their high profile, these vehicles are more likely to be moved around the road by heavy wind.

-- Don't take your hands off the wheel. In heavy wind, your vehicle can be thrown around. You must have two hands on the wheel at all times, as this will allow you to combat anything that comes your way.

If you follow these tips, you know you're doing everything you can to drive safely in heavy winds. Even so, remember this: You don't know if other drivers are going to take the same safe approach.

If somebody strikes your vehicle in a wind storm, you need to move to safety and then contact police and an ambulance. Then, once you are ready, you can learn more about making an insurance claim and potentially taking legal action against the negligent party.

Source: Travelers, "How to Drive Safely in Strong Wind and Rain," accessed Oct. 12, 2016

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