Navigating The Roadway Alongside Semis In High Winds
High winds and severe weather create unique challenges for both the truck driver and other drivers. Sisbro put together a few tips to help the average car or truck safely navigate around tractor trailers in special conditions.
Anticipate wind gusts
The best way to deal with windy conditions is for both the truck driver and surrounding vehicles to slow down. The effects of high winds under, over, and all around a trailer can develop pressure which is more unpredictable at higher speeds. In particularly dangerous situations, a trucker (or really any driver) should choose to come to a stop in a safe location.
Keep a safe distance
It’s not a good idea to tailgate a semi to cut the wind for your vehicle. Avoid following a tractor trailer too closely. Severe weather can make it difficult for a trucker to maintain the lane, which can result in unanticipated braking or swerving.
As the other driver, you need to leave more than two seconds of response time between vehicles. When the truck passes a sign or other notable marker, count “1001, 1002, …” if you reach the same point in less than the two second count, you are following too closely.
When you meet a truck driving in the opposite direction, stay to the far right of your lane. This will increase the safety level and help you minimize wind turbulence.
Turn your lights on
May cars and trucks have daytime running lights these days to maintain greater visibility. If your car doesn’t automatically do it for you, turn your lights on in high winds or other types of severe weather. Truck drivers will be more likely to see you as you navigate around them.
Take your time
Even if you’re in a hurry, take a deep breath and slow down. It takes a greater response time to navigate around a larger vehicle and you need the utmost level of concentration to avoid hitting objects or debris flying by in the wind.
Don’t forget to give the truck driver more time to make a turn or lane change in the wind. To avoid blowing over, they need to slow down and proceed safely.