The Coachella Valley and Collisions: How High Winds in Palm Springs Create Hazardous Driving Conditions
September 12th, 2018 by Fix Auto USA
If you live in the Palm Springs area, you might not notice the terrifically strong winds in and around the city. But visitors to Palm Springs – and anyone who has recently moved to the area – recognize one thing right away: when it comes to the bluster and breezes, Palm Springs has few rivals.
Chicago might be known as the Windy City, but the gusts in Palm Springs match any metro area in terms of intensity and frequency.
A few geographical factors contribute to high winds in Palm Springs, which we’ll look at in a minute.
For drivers in Palm Springs, strong winds contribute to hazardous driving conditions. Whether you’re headed near town on I-10, driving north on Route 62, or navigating on Route 86 through the southeast part of town, a sudden gust of wind can turn a leisurely drive into a fender-bender in short order.
Why is it so windy in Palm Springs, and what are some things you can do to ensure those breezes don’t impact your bumper? The collision repair experts at Fix Auto did some research, and you might be surprised at how windy Palm Springs can get – and also how you can do your part to prevent collisions and accidents from sudden, strong breezes. Our auto body shops in the Palm Springs area have witnessed more than a few accidents and collisions due to strong breezes.
Winds are responsible for some of the approximately 200,000 yearly injuries suffered by California motorists. Knowing what to do – and what NOT to do – will help you avoid being part of that grim statistic.
OK, grab your windbreaker, and let’s go!
The Coachella Valley: Strong Gust Central
Located in the Coachella Valley, the location of Palm Springs is actually a perfect storm (OK, at least a perfect windstorm) for blustery conditions.
The two major factors that create strong winds in Palm Springs are mountains and pressure.
First, the mountains: three ranges surround the Coachella Valley. They are the San Jacinto Mountains, the Santa Rosa Mountains, and the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Strong breezes typically move through various mountain passes in the region, particularly the San Gorgonio Pass (west toward Cabazon and Banning).
Next, the pressure: wind travels from areas of high pressure to areas with low pressure. That’s just Weather 101. Since the atmospheric pressure in Palm Springs and other low-lying areas in the Coachella Valley is low, wind rushes in from warmer areas (coastal region, deserts, etc.) creating sudden, breezy gusts.
Put it all together, and it’s easy to see how the geography and varied atmospheric pressure zones of Palm Springs can make for tricky driving conditions.
The question is, what can you do about it?
Here are a few tips & tricks for navigating tricky winds:
- Slow down. Seems obvious, but still worth mentioning. Speeding through strong gusts in a recipe for disaster. Our auto body shops in the Palm Springs area have repaired plenty of cars damaged due to careless driving through wicked winds, and trust us – it’s not pretty.
- Be extra alert. Watch out for large vehicles, objects blowing across the road, and other potential hazards. If your “alert” driving range goes from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most alert…crank it up to 11 for high wind conditions.
- Pull over to a safe place. When the breezes become too much to handle, get off the road. Find a safe place out of everyone’s way, and wait out the windstorm. Sometimes, accidents are caused by going the extra mile – usually a good thing, but during strong winds, not a good idea.
- Keep both hands on the wheel. Keep both hands on the wheel when driving through sustained high winds. You’d be surprised at how many accidents and collisions are caused by one-hand driving. Sudden, sharp changes in wind conditions can take your car off the road in a hurry.
Need Quality Collision Repair in Palm Springs? Visit Fix Auto Today!
Our auto body shops in the Palm Springs area are here for all of your collision repair needs. Fix Auto’s legendary service and exceptional attention to detail comes standard at each of our Palm Springs auto repair shops:
Even the best plans for driving in blustery Palm Springs conditions can go wrong; if you need a reliable, professional collision repair service, stop in to any of our Palm Springs area auto body shops today.
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