High winds can cause travel hazards on Iowa’s roadways today

News, Weather

January 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Jan. 17, 2012 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is advising motorists that sustained wind speeds of up to 25 mph are expected across a majority of the state today. Drivers on Iowa roadways should be alert to the effects of these winds on high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers. For road weather information in Iowa, visit Iowa DOT’s website http://weatherview.iowadot.gov/. WeatherView offers helpful information to travelers, including current wind speed, direction and gusts. Information is collected from road and aviation weather observation reporting sites throughout the state.

If you are driving:

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel and be prepared to slow down.
  • Tune in to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong gusts can push a vehicle or trailer outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van, SUV or recreational vehicle or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, move your vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and stop, making sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the hazard lights until the wind subsides.
  • Never cross a downed power line.
  • Approach all intersections with caution. If there is a power outage, the traffic signals may not be operating properly. Remember, nonfunctioning traffic signals are to be treated as a four-way stop.
  • Check the latest weather conditions by accessing the information kiosks located at any of the interstate rest areas.