The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is urging drivers to be cautious on the roads when high winds blow into the state this week.
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts strong winds with possible gusts up to 60 miles per hour across Wisconsin Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Severe weather is also possible in parts of the state.
Sustained winds and wind gusts can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles like trucks, which are at risk of losing control or tipping over in windy conditions. Other drivers should be aware when traveling near larger vehicles and keep a distance.
Driving in high winds can be a challenge, so follow these tips:
- Be weather aware and know before you go. Monitor NWS advisories in your area. Download WisDOT’s 511 app to monitor conditions on your route.
- Watch for objects in the road. Loose objects and tree branches may be blown around.
- Wind gusts may be stronger in more exposed areas like open roads, on bridges, and on overpasses. Bridges can get icy when other roads are clear.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles to allow time to anticipate wind gusts, avoid debris in the road and eliminate the risk of a crash if a vehicle is pushed out of its lane.
- Buckle up, phone down to eliminate distractions. Keep a firm grip on the wheel because strong wind gusts make it harder to steer. Slow down to maintain control over the vehicle.
- Truckers carrying empty trailers or light loads are especially vulnerable. Make certain open or deck loaded cargo is secured properly. Be extra cautious in open areas where wind gusts could push a truck out of its lane.
If wind gusts are so strong that safe driving is not possible, drivers should pull over away from trees or other objects. Stay in the vehicle until the wind dies down.