SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation is advising the public that high winds into Thursday will have the potential to impact travel, especially for truck drivers and other high-profile vehicles. The National Weather Service is forecasting strong winds with possible gusts up to 60 mph across most of Illinois through the overnight hours and into Thursday morning.
Drivers of oversized/overweight permitted vehicles should be especially prepared, with sustained gusts posing an increased risk of losing control or tipping. Other drivers should be cautious as well and keep a distance when traveling near larger vehicles.
Extreme winds can be a challenge for all motorists. Some tips to keep you and others safe:
• Monitor weather advisories in your area.
• Watch for objects on the road, such as branches and other debris.
• Gusts may be stronger in open areas as well as on bridges and overpasses.
• Slow down to maintain control of your vehicle.
• Buckle up, put down the electronic devices and stay focused on the road. Keep a firm grip on the wheel at all times.
• Truckers carrying empty trailers or light loads are especially vulnerable. Make certain open or deck-loaded cargo is secured properly. Be extra cautious in open areas where wind gusts could push a truck out of its lane.
If wind gusts are so strong that safe driving is not possible, drivers should pull over away from trees or other objects and stay in the vehicle until the wind dies down.