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High Winds Can Pose Dangers For Road Travel

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Most of us are sufficiently conscientious to know that we must driver more cautiously when there are inclement weather conditions. Driving rain can obscure a driver's vision and reduce traction requiring additional stopping time. But it may not be immediately obvious that windy conditions can create dangerous driving situations on the highway. According to California Highway Patrol, high profile vehicles are more vulnerable during high wind speeds.

Trucks and other vehicles with a high profile are typically more susceptible to high winds, causing them to become overturned on highways and cause an accident. You've probably noticed the situation on the highway when a sudden gust of wind crosses the highway and larger trucks suddenly weave in their lane. If you are next to a semi truck when this happens, you may find yourself in a perilous situation.

People who do not drive high profile vehicles must also be prepared for accidents which they could become involved in due to big rigs and semi-trucks around them. An estimated 423 people die every year during collisions between cars and semi-trucks, according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

Defensive driving is a key factor in safety. Drivers should drive the speed limit, keep both hands upon the wheel and keep a safe distance between cars. Accidents may also be avoided by driving over debris instead of swerving to avoid it, said local law enforcement.

Drivers who are not watching the road and become surprised by an overturning truck are at risk of spinning out and losing control if the wheel is suddenly turned, said a CHP officer.

If safety precautions are followed while driving around high profile vehicles during high winds, serious accidents and injuries may be prevented.

SOURCE: KPSP Channel 2 News "Dangers of Driving in the Wind" Francinni Zabata, June 19, 2011