No one likes driving in high winds. The gusts can move your vehicle unexpectedly out of your control for a few seconds. For truck drivers, however, driving in high winds can be downright dangerous. Learn why high winds are so dangerous for trucks and what truckers can do to mitigate these risks.
Trucks and High Winds: A Dangerous Combination
Any type of bad weather can be dangerous for trucks, including heavy rain, snow, hail, and more. High winds, however, pose a unique threat to big-rigs. Since big-rigs have long, flat sides, they essentially act as sails on a sailboat in high winds. Strong gusts catch this wide surface area and often tug on trailers, sometimes causing the entire truck to overturn.
This risk is even greater when the truck has little to no cargo to weigh the vehicle down. Additionally, trucks in poor mechanical condition may have a tougher time sticking to the road via friction from the truck’s tires. Luckily, however, there are several steps that truckers can take to mitigate the risks of high winds.
How to Prepare a Big-Rig for High Winds
Trucking companies must do their due diligence in training their truckers how to drive in all types of weather. California, in particular, is a large state with varied climates that require drivers to know what to do in any weather condition. Taking the following steps can help reduce the risks that high winds pose to big-rigs:
- Secure the cargo. High winds can jostle even a heavy trailer back and forth. It is vital that any cargo in the trailer be secured tightly to prevent cargo shift or, even worse, cargo loss through the trailer’s doors.
- Be smart about cargo load. Lighter loads will be more susceptible to high winds. Truckers should calculate the weight that is necessary to carry in order to offset this risk.
- Know what to do behind the wheel. Preparation is only the first step to ensuring a safe ride in high winds. Truckers must also act accordingly during the drive, such as by maintaining a tight grip on the steering wheel, reducing their speed, and turning on their hazard lights to warn other drivers to steer clear.
Unfortunately, not all truck drivers receive the proper training from their employers on how to handle a big-rig in varied weather conditions. This is when tragic accidents often happen.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, our San Jose personal injury attorneys are here for you. We have significant experience in this area of the law, and have helped countless truck accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve after a devastating crash. We may be able to do the same for you.