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There are numerous classifications of automobiles that make them perfect for a variety of different purposes. The classes of vehicles are typically divided based on features or size.
Some specific features that vehicles are classified by is how they are used.
When it comes to high profile vehicles, people often get confused about what exactly that means. Are minivans actually high profile vehicles or not?
A minivan is not considered to be a high profile vehicle but it does catch considerably more wind than a normal car. SUVs are actually much more likely to blow over in strong winds and even they aren’t considered to be high profile.
High profile vehicles are typically commercial trucks, semis, school buses, and other extremely tall vehicles. When it is extremely windy these high profile vehicles are in danger of being blown over by the strong winds whereas that will never or rarely happen with minivans or SUVs.
People often want to know about the minivan category of vehicles and whether they are considered high profile since they are larger and taller than a normal car Minivans are not considered a high profile vehicle as it lacks some of the core features of this type of vehicle which is mainly that they are taller than they are wide.
In the rest of this article I will go into more detail about high profile vehicles, how they are typically used, and what can be done to make them safer in the event of strong winds.
What is the core definition of a high profile vehicle?
High profile vehicles are the vehicles equipped with a large surface area that can be adversely affected by strong crosswinds. While driving a crosswind plays a crucial role in controlling any vehicle but this is especially true with high profile ones. The wind factor cannot be denied as every person has likely felt it on their personal vehicle. When you take that force and multiply it many times over, that is what high profile vehicles have to deal with.
Vehicles that come under the category of high profile are big semi trucks, RVs, box trucks, etc.
These vehicles all have massive surface area and can be easily moved or blown over by the wind. Though minivans also have a large surface area, they are not anywhere close to being as large as the above mentioned vehicles and are rarely in danger of turning over.
Some full size vans could be considered high profile especially if they have a wind guard on top of them that adds additional height but minivans are never considered to be high profile.
How strong does the wind have to be to flip a car?
Now that we have discussed the fact that minivans aren’t high profile vehicles the next thing that I want to mention is about wind speed. Specifically it is important to know how strong the wind would have to be before it can flip a car, minivan, or SUV.
To flip a car, minivan, or SUV the winds would have to be somewhere around 120-140mph. If the vehicle is turned where it is facing the wind however it shouldn’t flip over until the wind speed gets over 175mph.
What this should tell you is that minivans, SUVs and cars are quite good vehicles in the wind as it’s unlikely you will face winds of that strength unless you are driving into a hurricane or tornado.
However, controlling a vehicle in winds that aren’t strong enough to flip it over would prove extremely difficult so if you are going down the road you might find that winds in the 50-75mph range would cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
What is a high profile vehicle used for?
Generally, high profile vehicles are used for different commercial purposes as they will provide a massive area with optimum storage space or passenger carrying ability.
This space inside these vehicles can be used for different purposes depending on the specific design of the vehicle.
Some of the specific vehicles, such as RVs and box trucks, are used for specific purposes such as camping or moving large bulky items (in the case of a box truck). These types of vehicles are also used for transportation of passengers and cargo.
Basically if you need to move a large amount of people or items you will likely end up using a high profile vehicle.
What are the safety options available on a high profile vehicle?
The safety options available for a high profile vehicle are typically the same that you would find in any normal car or minivan. In addition to that, these vehicles are also equipped with quite a few technologically advanced features such as ABS, numerous air airbags for every seating position, air brakes, jake brakes, etc.
These all help in maintaining maximum safety from any accident.
The main safety issue that high profile vehicles face is that they are prone to getting blown all over the road during storms or an extra windy day. As they catch a lot of extra wind, if the driver isn’t paying close attention they could easily be blown onto the shoulder or even into another vehicle.
The largest safety measure that any driver of a high profile vehicle can make is to pay attention to their surrounds and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.
What are the risks associated with high profile vehicles?
There are numerous risks associated with high profile vehicles, but the most dangerous is the increased likelihood of rolling over these vehicles. These vehicles are quite big and equipped with a massive surface area that lacks a low center of gravity, which in turn exposes it to rolling over more frequently compared to other segments of vehicles.
When it comes to a minivan, these are designed with utmost precautions that provide a low center of gravity, which helps the vehicle stay on the road even in the most extreme weather conditions.
On top of rolling over these vehicles are also more likely to get blown off the road as mentioned above. If the driver of a truck or RV isn’t paying attention they could soon find themselves off the shoulder and into the ditch!
What are the tips for driving high profile vehicle safely
If you find yourself driving a high profile vehicle such as an RV, U-Haul truck, etc. there are some important things that you should keep in mind.
- As these kinds of vehicles are incredibly sensitive to wind speed, especially when extensively exposed to crosswinds, you should look for any wind advisories before setting out on a trip. If you find that there is a possibility of a weather change, then choose a different route or wait to make your trip.
- Speed limit plays a critical role in driving these high profile vehicles. It helps in keeping better control of the vehicle if you are not going extremely fast.
- If you are not driving a high profile vehicle, you should still avoid slowly passing or simultaneous driving next to these vehicles. These vehicles are susceptible to frequent rollovers and can easily be blown into the lane next to them so when passing a high profile vehicle do it safely but also quickly.
High profile vehicles are pretty common to come across as you drive down the highway as each box truck, semi, RV, or bus that you see is a high profile vehicle.
However, minivans do not meet the definition of a high profile vehicle although you should still be extremely careful when driving one when it is extra windy.