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Dust storm: What to do and what not!

Dust storm: What to do and what not!

Snapshot: Dust storms are thoroughly dangerous for you to drive through. Here are a few pointers to keep you aware and safe...

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Weather change is at hand and we are not collectively doing much about it. We as drivers will now have to constantly face the dangers of driving through blinding dust storm more often than you think. Our constant efforts to colonize will push trees away from us, which can hold and check blowing dust. For now all we can do is keep ourselves safer while driving through that giant wall of dust obscuring your and other road user’s vision.

Do not panic

First and foremost as any advice goes, not panicking is the key to evade danger. You should be able to see an approaching dust storm giving you enough time to think ahead. If by chance you missed warning signs, there is no need to hyperventilate. Just stay calm as most dust storms are over in short durations. Panic and driving in a haphazard manner can cause unforeseen incidents which definitely you don’t want in this situation.

No point soldiering on

When you know you are stuck in a dust storm, there is no point being an expert driver and showing off your excellent bowel retention. Best advice will be to gently park at the side of the road and wait the storm out. As mentioned these dust storms are shorter in duration and will get over soon enough to catch up to your meeting, as they rightly say better late than never.

Park smartly

Now park does not mean you’ll perch on a roundabout. Find a spot off the running traffic lanes preferably on a hard shoulder or completely off road if you are able to without driving into a ditch. Needless to say if you open your door be extra careful and absolutely never step out in the traffic lanes. Turn off all possible lights while parked to avoid other road user’s rear ending in you. Lights on generally gives the idea that you are driving slowly in the running traffic lane which could fool other users thinking you’re driving in the middle of the road.

Listening to the Radio can help

Listening on the radio might help deliver quick weather updates to you while you sit and wait. We realise you’ve got the latest quad turbo processor mobile phone with the latest apps, but radio frequencies will still keep working if your cell phone tower gives up. Hopefully our Government will soon become more alert in supplying radio channels more accurate data as dust storms will start getting more violent.

Continue on

Since you’ve been sitting and waiting for long now, chances are dust storm has cleared or is showing signs of clearing. Visibility will soon improve and once it gets past 300ft or about 100m, it is relatively safer for you to continue onwards. Do remember dust storms are often followed by rain, so be prepared to drive through it. You aren’t completely in the clear yet as rain too will hamper visibility so keep a check on your speed. Driving slowly and cautiously is the key to safe travels here. Being careful will pull you through a dust storm easy, being late is better than experiencing something awful.

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