If you drive a semi-truck for a living, you do not have to be told twice that the job comes with a lot of hazards. One hazard that truckers do not talk enough about is high winds.
Windy or blustery conditions can be just as dangerous for truck drivers as icy or snowy conditions. In addition to pushing trailers into adjacent lanes, high winds can cause whole tractor-trailers to flip over. At what speed, though, does this risk become a likely possibility?
Windspeeds that cause semis to flip
According to Knight Transportation, windspeeds of nearly 60 miles per hour can flip a semi-truck. However, the company warns that truckers should be wary even when driving in moderate wind conditions, as the walls of the trailers often act as giant sails in that they catch wind and move the entire vehicle. Unwanted movement on any road can prove dangerous. However, on a busy road, it can prove fatal.
How to drive in windy conditions
Ideally, you will avoid driving in windy conditions whenever possible. However, if you get caught in a windstorm, it is imperative that you know how to maintain control of your rig. Some tips for driving in windy conditions are as follows:
- Check the weather and the trucker’s windspeed chart, which should contain high wind alerts.
- If you do get caught in high winds, slow down. Lower speeds give you more time to make adjustments and reduce your risk of serious injury should you tip.
- Maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel, as doing so will allow you to quickly course-correct as necessary.
- Secure your doors and cargo, as high winds can open or move around both. If your cargo becomes loose, you could be liable for any accidents spilled cargo might cause.
Driving in high winds is inadvisable. However, if you must do it, be sure to keep truck driving safety tips at the forefront of your mind.