Safety First: Driving in Windy Conditions
(SIOUX CITY, IA) - Calling Monday a windy day is an understatement. Winds gusted to 45 miles per hour. That not only makes it feel a lot colder, but it's also tough on drivers.
It's a familiar sound in Siouxland: wind. The windy weather even swayed the stop lights. For trucks on the highway, you didn't have to step outside to feel it. "I've been kind of sitting here since last night, but it's rocking the truck pretty good," said truck driver Randy Eby. That makes it a difficult decision for truck drivers to get behind the wheel and put it in drive, risking the weather to stay on time. "The company tells us if it's too windy, you can pull over," said Robert Harris, another truck driver. However, fighting the wind is nothing new. "I've seen a lot windier conditions that I've been in," explained truck driver John Foster. "Sometimes you come out of a tunnel, a curve and the wind will push you a little bit," said Harris. The problem is which way you're headed. "If you're going anywhere against the wind, of course it kills your fuel mileage and can blow you from one lane to the other, which is not good. It's not safe," explained Eby. "Winds coming from the side, especially with an empty truck. People with an empty truck need to stay off the road on a day like today," said Foster. All three of the truck drivers agreed on one thing: your safety isn't worth fighting Mother Nature. "A day like today, the wind's moving, probably sit out a couple hours until the wind cool down a little bit, then move. Safety's always first," said Harris. "There's been quite a few times that I've pulled off the side of the road just because I didn't feel safe," said Eby. As the experts put it, when the wind becomes a problem, pull over. All three said it's nice if conditions like Monday's happen during down time, but when it forces them to stay off the road for safety's sake, it's just one more thing that comes with the territory.