Do you know what the arch-nemesis of the truck driver is? No, it is not at all low pay or bad conditions in the trucking companies. Believe it or not, what is making truck drivers’ life a living hell are high winds. Driving in winter conditions on icy roads is complicated enough but high winds are often overlooked.
March is notorious for high winds and it is plaguing all the states equally. In his article, we will explore how we can prevent dangerous road accidents by utilizing proper preparation. We will discuss the most common reasons why accidents happen and we will share some proven tips that will make your ride…well easy as a breeze.
Why are high winds dangerous for semi-trucks?
It is simply inevitable for a truck driver to drive in bad weather conditions. When you are in the world of truck transport you need to be well prepared because you never know what lies on the road ahead. High winds pose a great danger for semi-trucks for one reason. It is because of the very shape of semi-trucks. Semi-trucks have a significant height and sides of their trailers that are long and flat – these sides could easily turn into sails if the winds are too strong.
Although this sounds like a very cool sight to witness, it is very dangerous. If the winds catch and pull the trailers it can cause the truck to overturn, wreaking havoc on the entire road.
What types of accidents are often caused by high winds?
Accidents caused by high winds are devastating. Trucks are heavy and they carry a lot of momentum and it is dangerous for both drivers and other people on the road. To paint you this picture better, here are some of the most common types of accidents happening when the wind takes the wheel from the driver:
- Jackknife accidents – this happens when the trailer creates a 90-degree angle with the front. Just imagining that scene can make your skin crawl. This occurs once the driver loses control over the vehicle and presses the brakes too fast.
- Semi Truck rollovers – this occurs when the load is too light. When a driver loses control the entire load rolls over and depending on the traffic – other vehicles can hit the trailer.
- Lost load – if you don’t secure your load it could happen that it flies and crashes on the road, causing debris and it could lead to more dangerous collisions.
- Under ride collision -this is one of the worst-case scenarios. When the driver is trying to regain control it can hit the trailer.
This is especially dangerous for new drivers who are not familiar with this glitch in semi-truck anatomy. More experienced drivers have an issue with the light load. When driving, you need to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. How can you prevent this?
How to prevent accidents like these?
Drivers have a huge responsibility because every wrong move can have really scary consequences. Therefore, a bit of preparation knowing yourself, and knowing your trailer is great for the start. Think of the following:
- Plan your routes. Explore all the factors that could cause danger on the road. Try planning alternative routes if you notice that the weather is not working for you.
- Check the wind speed before you get on the road.
- Know where sails are located because it can vary from truck to truck, secure all the doors and all parts of your loads.
- Be more attentive. If you are starting to notice that the signs on the road are moving, it means that the danger is ahead.
- Slow down or stop – you know that safety comes first. So if you are noticing that it is hard to keep things under control, it is always better to slow down or to just simply stop. Missing the deadline is one of the worst trucker nightmares but sometimes it is better to do so.
- Technique matters – your driving style will be crucial in these situations. Your grip on the steering wheel should be firm. Slow down when needed and remain in the right lane.
If the accident occurs it will be your responsibility. All these accidents are preventable. It is up to you to understand what your task no.1 is to deliver the load in a safe manner. Planning your routes, pre-trip truck inspections, securing your loads, and driving carefully will help you prevent accidents and save lives! So if you look for a company truck driver opportunity fill out the application or contact us!