Truck Driving instructor talks semi safety on windy days
Wednesday, March 8 was the windiest day of the year so far in Wisconsin. With reports of 14 semi-truck rollovers in the state, concerns of safety were abundant.
Coincidentally, WCTC Truck Driving instructor Jeff Kiel was talking about safe truck driving operation in windy conditions to his class Wednesday. Kiel ranked wind as much a safety concern as driving in snow and icy conditions. On a windy day, drivers should slow down about a third of their typical speed.
"You're better off slowing down too much and being able to speed it back up than you are not slowing down enough and having an issue," Kiel told TMJ4 reporter Coreen Zell during an interview Wednesday.
It’s important for other drivers on the road to always give truck drivers room and never cut in front of them – a fully loaded 80,000-pound truck can’t stop as fast as the average SUV.
Kiel told his students that they are ultimately responsible for their truck and weather is never an excuse for an accident.
"There are just simply times when that wind gusts so strong that you can't keep it in your lane. At that point slowing down may not be enough. You might have to get off the road all together," Kiel told TMJ4.
Kiel noted that drivers need to develop their “gut feeling” – if they don’t feel it’s safe to operate their truck, they should stay off the road.