Because semi-trucks are so much larger than passenger vehicles, they are significantly more affected by the wind.
The “Sail Area”
Because of how much surface area a semi-truck has, wind is easily able to get caught on the vehicle. When this happens, it can cause the vehicle to abruptly thrust from side to side. This is essentially what happens on a boat when wind gets pushed against the sail and causes the boat to move. While wind can have little to no effect on a passenger vehicle, some wind conditions could cause a semi-truck to go off the road or flip.
Many truck drivers agree that wind speeds between 40 to 60 miles per hour are risky, and winds over 60 miles per hour are too dangerous to travel in.
Tips for Safe Driving in Windy Conditions
Wind differs from snow and rain in that you cannot see it coming. Truck drivers must be aware of how to handle these conditions to ensure safety for themselves and others on the roads.
Check Wind Speeds Prior to Driving
Even if it’s a sunny day with no wind in sight, be sure to check the forecast for potential wind on your trip. If you see that there is going to be dangerously fast wind, do not go. Or, you may be able to take a different route to avoid the heavy wind.
Also when checking the wind speeds, consider how much weight is in your truck. A heavier trucker will be harder to tip over, and therefore may be safer in higher winds. However, if you have a relatively light load, you will want to be cautious even in slower winds.
Don’t Take Risks
If you are driving and notice your truck swaying from side to side and being suddenly jolted by the wind, pull over. If possible, stop next to a building so that it can block the wind from hitting your truck. Many truck companies provide incentives for getting deliveries done quickly, however, that is not worth risking a major accident. You can and should stop when you feel unsafe.
Pay Attention to Signs
Keep your eye out for road signs alerting truck drivers about high winds.
If you have determined that you can safely drive in the wind conditions, drive cautiously. Pay attention to the movements of your truck and know when it is time to slow down or pull over.
North Carolina Truck Accident Attorneys
Wind is just one of the many factors that can lead to a truck-related accident. If you or a loved one was injured by a truck driver driving in an unsafe manner, contact Lanier Law Group, P.A. today. Our team is committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve after a traumatic and avoidable accident.