National Highways has given tips on driving in high winds and warned motorists to be prepared ahead of the arrival of Storm Agnes today (Wednesday). 

Storm Agnes has been named by the Met Office as a deep area of low-pressure that will impact much of the UK on Wednesday and into Thursday.

Strong winds associated with Storm Agnes are expected to hit much of the UK today, with the chance they could be significantly disruptive. 

Cornwall has been placed under a yellow weather warning by the Met Office. 

Devon and Cornwall Police's Roads Policing Team put out a warning this morning to say: "Storm Agnes is incoming across the southwest. Please drive carefully and to the conditions. Flooding and high winds are expected on our roads."

National Highways has now advised that in high winds there is a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.

 National Highways uses roadside signs to warn of possible high winds or side winds. These can be displayed on electronic or fixed roadside signs. 

Some locations also have windsocks located on the roadside. These show you the direction and severity of the wind.

National Highways also monitors the network for debris and uses specialist equipment to remove it as quickly as possible. 

It warned that when travelling in strong winds and gales, high winds can blow your vehicle off course or other vehicles into your path. Some vehicles are affected by high winds more than others.   

Certain types of vehicles are more prone to the effects of high winds, these being

• Motorhomes 

• Vans 

• Transit vans with modifications 

• Vehicles towing trailers or caravans

• Motorcycles 

• Tippers 

• Double decker buses 

• Articulated HGVs 

• Abnormal loads 

• Car transporters 

• High-sided rigid HGVs 

If your vehicle is susceptible to high-wind conditions, consider delaying your journey until weather conditions improve if you can.

National Highways has also given tips for driving during high winds: 

• Slow down and keep focused on the road ahead – you may encounter debris blown in by the wind 

• Avoid using exposed sections of road if possible. Lorries, caravans and motorbikes are at particular risk. 

• Use both hands on the steering wheel to keep good control of your vehicle -gusts of wind can cause your vehicle to shake 

• Look out for gaps in trees or buildings, or when crossing bridges – you’re more likely to encounter side winds here 

• Keep room on either side of your vehicle to allow for it being blown sideways 

• Watch out for side winds when passing larger high-sided vehicles - keep room on either side of your vehicle to allow for it being blown sideways 

 Keep to main roads if possible. Minor roads are more likely to be obstructed by fallen branches and debris, so keep to main routes if you can.  

READ NEXT: RNLI urging people visiting coast during Storm Agnes to exercise 'extreme caution'

Drivers are being urged to have a safe 'T.R.I.P' by using a new journey planning checklist, which National Highways says will help prevent vehicle breakdowns and reduce the number of collisions caused by fatigue.

The new T.R.I.P checklist is based on four key principles:

• Top–up - Fuel, oil and screen wash.

• Rest - Take a rest break every two hours.

• Inspect - Check tyre pressure and tread.

• Prepare - Have a plan for all weather conditions.

National Highways has produced online guidance on its website for handling different weather conditions when the weather gets colder in an effort to keep road users as safe as possible on its motorways and A-roads.

Steve Basterfield, national metwork manager at National Highways, said: “With the stormy weather being forecast, it is important to plan ahead for your journey, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.

“We have a section of our website dedicated to travelling amid storms, high winds and gales, and considerations for different types of vehicle, as part of our guide to travelling in severe weather. It’s also a good idea for people to check their vehicles, such as tyres, coolant and oil levels, before heading out to reduce the risk of breakdowns.”