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Truck driving instructors offer advice on driving in up to 60 MPH wind gusts tonight

Trucks at Roehl in Appleton
Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 10:56:37-05

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — This month alone, we’ve driven in rain, we've driven in snow, and soon we'll be driving in high winds.

“High winds is definitely an extreme driving condition," said Jason Krenn, Director of Orientation and Development Roehl Transport. “There have been instances where tractor trailers have actually blown over.”

It doesn't matter whether you’re driving a semi truck or a small car, he said. It just takes one 60 MPH wind gust to cause a lot of problems.

“Reducing your speed is going to greatly reduce the effect that the wind has on pushing your vehicle around your lane," said Krenn. “When you go under an overpass or something like that, or if there's a grove of trees along the roadway, something that's going to block that wind temporarily, when you come out the other side of that, wind is going to hit you again and slam into and could potentially push you out of your lane, push you into another lane.”

When you think of windy bridges, there’s one in particular that probably comes to mind: the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge. On a night like tonight, you might want to just avoid bridges like this, truck driving instructors recommend.

Wind advisory issued for Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay

“The Leo Frigo Bridge is known for high wind gusts," said Rob Behnke, Director of Truck Driving at Fox Valley Technical College. "There's other routes in the Green Bay area. Truck drivers need to consider that, cars driving on those overpasses to need to consider the fact that if there's a truck in that area, just give them enough space.”

Behnke tells students their deliveries can wait, he said.

“If they're not comfortable with it, they need to pull the truck over and find a safe place to park right now," said Behnke. "I understand it, the industry, we need to keep things moving. I fully understand that. But you also have to use your better judgment. You want to be safe out there. And if you're not comfortable with operating that vehicle in the weather, you really need to pull that truck over get it safe place and park it for until the weather passes.”

Other drivers on the road should give semi trucks extra space tonight.

“I think if we respect each other going down the road especially when it gets windy out, it's going to be much safer roadway," said Behnke.