Driving on a windy day can be incredibly challenging. Unexpected wind gusts can push you from one side of the road to the other.
So is it ever too windy for a truck?
Are there days you’re better off parking your truck instead of hitting the open roads? Let’s dive in and see!
How Much Wind Can a Truck Withstand?
The larger the vehicle, the more it will be susceptible to wind. A truck towing a trailer is going to be the worst when it comes to high wind situations. The large sides of the trailer can cause the trailer to get pushed around by the wind. Even trucks that are passenger vehicles can be dangerous in high winds.
You need to be aware of the wind speed when driving your truck as it can get too windy for safe truck driving. We recommend parking whenever the winds exceed 40 to 50 miles per hour.
However, driving a truck in any wind over 30 miles per hour isn’t usually an enjoyable experience, especially if you’re towing. We recommend staying put when winds exceed 30 miles per hour in towing situations.
How Strong Does Wind Have to Be to Flip a Truck?
RVs, semis, and box trucks risk getting flipped onto their sides when sustained or wind gusts reach 60 miles per hour. Typically, winds capable of flipping a standard passenger vehicle must reach upwards of 115 miles per hour.
Is It Ever Too Windy for a Truck?
You can never be too safe when driving in windy conditions. The wind will push you and other drivers around on the road, which can be very unpredictable.
As mentioned before, It’s a good idea to park your vehicle during winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour. If you’re towing a trailer or driving a high-profile vehicle, you’ll want to dial that back about 10 miles per hour. It’s better safe than sorry when driving a truck in windy conditions.
Pro Tip: Driving an RV? We uncovered how windy is too windy to safely drive your motorhome!
How Do You Drive a Truck in Windy Conditions?
If it is too windy to drive a truck, but you still have to hit the road, there are a handful of things you can do when fighting the wind. Doing all of these will help improve your ability to stay in control of your vehicle and avoid an accident.
Turn Your Headlights On
You want to be as visible as possible when driving in hazardous conditions. Turning your lights on makes it easy for other drivers to see you in their mirrors and be aware of your position on the road. This can be extremely helpful if wind gusts are causing you to move from side to side.
High winds can reduce a driver’s vision as it kicks up dirt, sand, and other debris in the area. Using the “automatic” setting on your headlights might not detect the need to turn on your lights. You should switch your lights to the on position while driving in windy conditions, but remember to turn them back to “automatic” when you reach your destination.
Inflate Your Tires to the Correct PSI
There are many reasons to ensure your tires are at the correct PSI, including stability. Putting them at the proper PSI helps you to maintain traction and control of your vehicle. It only takes a minute or two to check your tires before you start your trip. If you’re towing a trailer, check those tires too.
Pro Tip: Make monitoring your tire pressure easy by using a tire pressure monitor.
Driving during windy conditions can be rather stressful and requires your constant attention. Minimize all distractions and focus on the road. Driving while drowsy will only increase the potential risks of driving during windy conditions. If you feel that you are having trouble focusing or paying attention, you might want to consider parking until the winds subside.
Find a Place to Pull Over and Park When Necessary
As we’ve said repeatedly, driving in windy conditions is very dangerous. If it is getting too windy for your truck, find a safe place to pull over and park. We recommend truck stops, rest areas, or an on/off ramp for an interstate. Whatever you do, make sure you are entirely off the highway.
If you pull to the side of the road in a dust storm, turn off all of your lights. You may think you’re doing a favor by turning your lights or flashers on for others to see you, but they could use them as a guide and rear-end your vehicle. If you can find a place to ride out the winds, you can get back on the road and enjoy much safer conditions.
Is It Better to Drive Fast or Slow in High Winds?
When driving in high winds, reduce your speed. Doing so will lessen the effects of the wind blowing your vehicle from side to side and give you the most control. The faster you go, the more impact the wind will have. If you lose control of your vehicle, you’re more likely to overcorrect and cause a serious accident.
Driving slower also gives you plenty of time to react to anything happening around you. While you may maintain control of your vehicle, other drivers might not be as careful. You’ll appreciate every second you have regarding your reaction time.
What Vehicles Are Most Likely to Be Affected by High Winds?
While driving in high winds is no picnic for any vehicle, high-profile vehicles will suffer the most. Vehicles like box trucks, RVs, and semi-trucks have massive surface areas that can block the wind. The force of wind gusts will push these vehicles wherever the wind blows. When winds reach over 60 miles per hour, these vehicles risk getting blown onto their sides.
Is It Worth Driving a Truck in High Winds?
There’s no situation worth risking your safety and the safety of other drivers. We’ve seen some serious accidents during our travels, some of which resulted from drivers underestimating the weather conditions. Be aware of the weather and your safety, especially when driving a truck in high winds. It may mean arriving at your destination a little later, but at least you’ll arrive safely.
What are your safe driving tricks? Tell us in the comments!
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