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High Winds Can Pose Dangers For Road Travel

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Is It Dangerous to Drive With High Winds?

windy road in CaliforniaMost 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.

At What Wind Speed Is It Not Safe to Drive?

According to the National Weather Service, driving conditions can become difficult for high-profile vehicles when wind reaches 30-45 mph. When wind speeds hit 40-58 mph driving becomes more difficult for smaller profile vehicles and even more dangerous for larger vehicles.

Is It Better to Drive Fast Or Slow In High Winds?

Driving slower in high wind conditions can help improve the control you have over the vehicle and lessen the dangers of driving in high wind. Other safety precautions you can take are:

  1. Avoid unessential driving when there is a high wind warning
  2. Pay careful attention when passing high-profile vehicles
  3. Keep a safe following distance
  4. Avoid taking your hands off the wheel or driving while distracted

Even if an accident is caused by poor weather conditions, a driver can still be held responsible for any damages caused by the accident. Contact Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook today if you were involved in a car or truck accident. We're here to help and we're ready to fight for you. Free initial consultation!

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