American Highway
Carriers Association

Trend in Claims Detected

Having examined our most recent claims data, our analysts have detected a crash trend. Our claims handlers have received a sizable increase in wind related claims i.e., wind causing vehicles to drift into other lanes and drivers losing control of their vehicles causing a crash and/or blowing over entirely.

Wind will affect you as you drive no matter your speed or weight. It’s time to be prepared for driving in the wind with some tips from our loss prevention specialists.

  • Know the forecast. Will the winds taper off in a couple of hours or worsen as the day goes on? You should check the weather before every trip to know what to expect. You can check real-time wind speeds at www.forecast.weather.gov.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel and slow down. The slower you are driving the less severe any event is likely to be and the more time you give yourself to react. High speed can create low-pressure areas around your truck and since air flows from high to low pressure you are unintentionally creating a rapid flow of air directed at your vehicle.
  • Be sure to give yourself extra space around other vehicles. A little elbow room goes a long way when you find yourself in less than ideal conditions.
  • If you are a big vehicle with a light or empty trailer you are at high risk. Your high profile will allow the wind to push hard against your side which could easily send you out of your lane or topple you over. Also, pay attention to the load’s center of gravity – a load that is heavier to one side of the trailer will be more susceptible to crosswinds. Drive with caution and consider pulling over and waiting out the wind.
  • Winds hitting your vehicle from the side are often the most dangerous. If they are strong enough they can blow you off course or on your side. If you feel the side wind changing the direction of your vehicle, ease off the accelerator and smoothly steer in the opposite direction to bring yourself back. No hard, erratic panic steering which could lead to loss of control of the vehicle.
  • Remove any distractions and pay attention. When conditions are less than perfect it’s paramount to be alert. No cellphones, no heated debates or arguments, buckle up with both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. Trust your instinct. You should never be on the road if you don’t feel safe.
Although temperatures around the globe are steadily rising, temperatures naturally cycle back and forth between warmer and cooler periods, sometimes lasting decades. According to a study published in late 2019 (Nature Climate Change), winds across much of North America, Europe and Asia have been growing faster since about 2010. Prior to that, there had been a slowdown in wind speeds since the 1970s. Researchers believe that wind speeds are directly tied to the cycling back and forth of the climate. If they’re right, the faster, stronger wind speeds could continue for another decade or longer, until the next major shift.

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