Tips on Proper Driving In The Midst Of A Dust Storm

Posted on July 12, 2013

Many Californians might still be looking ahead to summer travel, but it’s important that drivers recognize some of the safety threats that could crop up when moving through different types of environment.  Any Southern California driver heading east, for example, could find themselves being confronted with a dust storm if the wind picks up.

This type of weather condition can severely limit visibility, and if you or even other drivers don’t know how to properly handle the threat, a crash becomes a distinct possibility.  To make sure you and your family are protected on your road trip, please prepare with the dust storm advice provided by AAA Arizona in a new report.

One of the biggest temptations when caught in a dust storm is to slam on the brakes.  This is perhaps one of the worst decisions that a driver can make.  The drivers of vehicles incoming from behind won’t be able to see you until it’s too late, and thus an ill-timed halt could lead to a dangerous crash.

Instead, slow your vehicle but stick with a speed that would be reasonable based off of the type of road you’re on.  If you feel that it wouldn’t be safe to continue to drive in such low-visibility conditions and you want to stop, slowly pull over to the shoulder of the road, letting yourself drift to a stop.  You’ll want to limit the tapping of the brakes during this pulling-over motion, as a driver behind you might mistakenly follow your vehicle thinking that you’re following the course of the road.

Once you’ve actually brought the vehicle to a stop, move your foot away from the brake as quickly as possible for the reason listed above.  Turn off your lights and wait out the storm until you’re comfortable driving again.  Again, make sure that you’re a sufficient distance off of the road so that other drivers won’t crash into you.

Be patient during this type of weather condition.  Aggressive driving maneuvers can quickly lead to a tragedy.  That means that you should avoid speeding, excessive lane changes, or following other vehicles too closely.  The leading vehicle might slow down or even slam on their brakes, and in a dust storm, the likelihood of stopping in time is small.  Plus, when you are forced to brake that quickly, a pursuing vehicle could crash into you.

Finally, don’t attempt to become a Youtube star.  Accidents happen when drivers take their attention off the road to document weather that looks like it stepped out of a special effects-ridden summer blockbuster.  Focus on the road as opposed to documenting a storm on a mobile device.

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