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Side/roll when exposed to a strong gust of wind

  1. Apr 24, 2009 #1
    Could someone please give me an answer with a scientific explanation for:

    Would a stationary vehicle or the same vehicle moving straight, at speed be more likely to be flipped over onto its side/roll when exposed to a strong gust of wind blowing at its side ("approx. perpendicular to the vehicle/direction of the vehicle")?

    Its based on an argument i'm having, i have my thoughts but dont have a scientific explanation or reasoning -.-

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Re: Wind

    If the vehicle is moving, and it's just a short gust of wind, the vehicle could steer to prevent rolling over. There might be a minor stability affect due to gyroscopic forces at the tires, but this would only help with the unsprung stuff below the shocks and springs, like the tires.
  4. Apr 24, 2009 #3

    Ranger Mike

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    Re: Wind

    if the car was set up with any aero at all
    it would have more down force applying to the tires if moving at a decent speed
    ya gotta be mving to make the down force via splitters , rear spoilers/ wings etc
    to some degree this applies to side force wind too, so IMO
    a good aero car will be more stable moving than stationary simply because of the slippery aero features
    if it is a 66 Dodge Corent or Ford Fairlane that was slab side box design
    or tall Jeep Wrangler it probably would not matter
    i just saw a video on Fox News about a semi tractor trailer being blown over by winds
    the sheriffs car following had the camera rolling
    but the truck/trailer had all kinds of square footage area that the gust of wind hit
    cruiser following it was not effected

    bottom line is
    if you got enuff blow, you"ll go..over
  5. Apr 24, 2009 #4
    Re: Wind

    thats what started the argument haha...the reporter said that the sheriff had told the truck to pull over before it was blown over...so would pulling over have saved it???
  6. Apr 24, 2009 #5

    Ranger Mike

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    Re: Wind

    i doubt it
    too much area for wind to hit
    trucker should have parked it some where like a gulley
    behind big building
    anything to break the wind
    but i have no emperical data just opinion
    you know what free advice is worth
  7. May 1, 2009 #6


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    Gold Member

    Re: Wind

    Hard to say, but Im sure the main point of enforcing the pull overs is that it avoids the roll over or loss of control _while_ the truck is moving at ~50mph which has a much greater chance of blocking the highway and injuring someone.
  8. May 1, 2009 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Wind

    He could have found an overpass to sit under or pulled over at a turn where he would be pointed into the wind until the storm passed.
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