NJDOT warns truck drivers
of dangerous winds this weekend
Department asks truckers to be cautious on the roads
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today said they are asking trucking drivers to be extra cautious this weekend when driving throughout New Jersey.
Forecasts predict extreme winds with gusts as high as 55 MPH creating hazardous driving conditions, especially for large trucks. The Department has asked the New Jersey State Police to watch for any trucks that may pose a risk to themselves or other motorists.
“The wind forecasts this weekend should not be taken lightly,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox. “Truck drivers on our roads need to be aware of the weather and they must adjust their driving methods accordingly. With winds as high as we are seeing forecast, there is a real risk of trucks quickly losing control.”
“Professional drivers who frequently cross the country know to watch for high winds, but our local truckers rarely see this dangerous condition on New Jersey highways. Motorists need to be on their toes to give trucks of all types some extra room on very windy days,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
Some common safety tips for truck drivers confronted with high winds:
- Secure all doors and exposed items: Take the time to do a thorough once-over on your truck before getting into the drivers’ seat. A few minutes beforehand can spare you from a disaster later.
- Be aware of the weather report.
- Be mindful of signage and state/local laws: Obey all posted signage. Be aware of speed restrictions on the Parkway and Turnpike.
- Empty trailers are more dangerous: An empty trailer isn’t as weighted as a loaded one and is far more susceptible to being manipulated by even a modest amount of wind.
- When in doubt, slow down or stop: Under any circumstance, including weather, road construction, restricted views or any possible hazard, always slow down to a safe speed, or stop when appropriate.
- Gear Down for More Power: Gearing down your transmission to boost your revs lets the engine supply more power faster to the drive axles. This in turn can help pull your trailer out of a swerve or lean if the wind starts to push it too hard.