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Driving a big rig during a high wind event will give you a white knuckle ride, for sure. Whether it’s blowing strong and steady or a major gust swoops in, high wind can easily ruin your day and wreck havoc on your tractor trailer. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind if you find yourself driving during high winds:

Light loads beware.
Pulling a lighter or empty load during a high wind situation is more dangerous than if you’re fully stocked. Because a lighter load isn’t weighed down like a full load is, there is less friction between your tires and the road, which only helps the wind to manipulate your trailer however it wants to. If you’re really feeling pulled around by the wind, take that as your sign to pull over and until the weather has passed.

Be sure you’re secured.
It may be a good idea to pull over and double check that your load is secured. Anything can happen during high winds and all it can take is a major gust to really loosen something. Do your due diligence and double check your work. A couple minutes now could you save you a mess later.

Slow down.
Now is not the time to put the pedal to the metal. Here’s the deal, during high winds, the wind is really the decision maker, not you. Wherever the wind wants you to go, you’ll go, and you will have very little say or control in the matter. You can be pushed off course in no time and the faster you’re going, the worse it will be, so SLOW DOWN. Slowing down helps to maintain tire contact with the road – which prevents you from flipping.

Give space.
When driving through high winds, now more than ever, it’s best to remember to give everyone their space.

Know when to stop.
You’re not going to be the hero for driving through dangerous winds, you’ll more likely be viewed as foolish. No load is worth risking your life or the lives you share the road with. If the wind is too much to handle, then stop.

Tip: Safety should always be put first and no one will question you for your decision. If you do stop, be sure to position your rig to be facing the wind or curve your truck to the left so that the wind will come at you from the right.

Bottomline, it’s important to stay alert, relaxed and keep your hands on the wheel while driving during high winds. Take cues from your surroundings to gauge what’s happening outside your truck and adjust your driving accordingly. It’s always best to be over conservative during high winds, otherwise, the wind just might win you’ll have a headache to deal with.