NewsCovering Colorado


High winds pose safety threat to semi-truck drivers

Semi trucks
Posted at 11:34 PM, Dec 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-02 01:34:58-05

SOUTHERN COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) issued multiple high wind restrictions for Interstate 25 Thursday night as gusty winds made their way through Southern Colorado.

The restrictions include most parts of I-25 from Walsenburg to Monument for oversized vehicles, like semi trucks and trailers. Brad Bauer, a maintenance supervisor for CDOT said once winds reach 60 mph, roads become unsafe for semis.

"The trailer just pretty much becomes a big sail in the wind and you get a gust up to 100 miles an hour, it'll easily blow that semi freight over on its side," Bauer said.

He said CDOT's main focus during the high wind warning from Thursday night into Friday is the safety of those traveling on the interstate. Bauer said cars will be fine on the interstate, but to make sure you are aware of your surroundings while driving.

"You'll get jerked around the road a little bit on the steering wheel. But for the most part, it's not going to blow your car over or pickup truck," he said.

Dan Sprung and Jayne Hockenson have been semi-truck drivers for around 35 years and said they have been through many high-wind warnings. The two stopped in Fountain for the night after delivering a truckload nearby.

"Things happen fast. You have a wind gust come and push you into the traffic, that can be really bad," said Hockenson. "Don't try to crowd and don't try to rush because if it gets really bad and something happens fast in front of you, you're in trouble."

During this time last year, 15 semis toppled over in one day in El Paso County during high winds.

Sprung said they don't want to risk it out on the roads during the high winds.

"You're better off parking and if you do have to go, keep your speed down. That's a big thing. That's what kills you."

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