At some point, we have all been driving along the highway and noticed that a semi-truck has been knocked over by strong winds. It can be both an impressive and scary sight. The question remains, however, what wind speed can knock over a semi truck?
In order to answer this question, it is important to understand the forces that affect a semi-truck in relation to wind. Wind forces are divided into two categories: drag and lift.
Drag is the force created when wind hits the vehicle’s body and creates resistance as it travels past. Lift is the force created when air passes around curved surfaces of the truck such as its roof and sides. Both of these forces work together to keep a semi-truck upright while driving on the road.
When wind is strong enough, it can be powerful enough to overpower both drag and lift forces acting on the truck. This usually occurs when wind speeds reach 50 miles per hour or more.
At these speeds, the force of wind hitting a truck’s body causes drag to become so great that it can no longer support itself against lift forces created by air passing around its curved surfaces. This imbalance causes the truck to topple over onto its side or even onto its roof in some cases.
Wind gusts from storms can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour or more which makes them particularly dangerous for trucks on open roads with little protection from surrounding structures. In some cases, winds this strong are strong enough to even cause multiple trucks to topple over in succession due to their large size creating more drag than other vehicles on the road such as cars or motorcycles which are much smaller and less affected by high winds speeds making them lighter Targets for strong gusts of air.
In summary, wind speed of 50 miles per hour or higher has the potential power to knock over a semi-truck due to its ability to overpower both drag and lift forces acting upon it at any given moment which creates an imbalance leading to its downfall in most cases.
Conclusion: To conclude, it takes winds reaching at least 50 miles per hour for semi-trucks on open roads with little protection from surrounding structures to be knocked over due their large size creating more drag than other vehicles on the road such as cars or motorcycles which are much smaller and less affected by high winds speeds making them lighter Targets for strong gusts of air.