Driving with limited visibility

12 May 2016 - By Eugene Herbert

There is a video link –
at the end of the article -  that deals with driving in a Dust Storm. This
bears great similarity to what South African drivers face when they encounter
smoke resulting from veld fires which can obscure, either partially or
totally, the road being travelled.

Aside from the time of
the year veld fires occur they are pretty unpredictable and generally strike
with little or no warning, often reducing driver visibility and making driving
conditions extremely hazardous. This, for those who hadn’t noticed, is the time
of year that this hazard becomes apparent – you can see the haze over parts of
Gauteng already.

In order to minimise
the dangers associated with smoke covered roads this winter MasterDrive shares
the following tips which, depending on the severity of the smoke, may even
require that a vehicle be brought to a complete stop.

-     Don’t enter the
smoke covered area if you can avoid it.

-     If you can’t pull
off the roadway, proceed at a speed suitable for visibility, turn on lights,
and sound your horn occasionally. Use the painted centreline to help guide you.
Look for a safe place to pull off the roadway.

-     Never stop on the
lanes designated for use by vehicles on the portion of the roadway outside of
the emergency lane.

-     If stopped make
sure your emergency lights are turned on after you park. Vehicles approaching
from the rear can take note of your vehicles proactive approach to dealing
with the hazard.

The moment you realize
that it is unsafe to proceed, the No. 1 priority should be to pull your vehicle
safely off the road. If you can’t see what’s ahead, you may crash into another
vehicle or possibly worse be rear-ended as you attempt to negotiate your way
through the smoke - Better a few minutes late than not arriving at all.

To view an Arizona
Department of Transportation in the US about dust storms, click on link below.
Keep in mind that smoke filled roads can lead to multiple-vehicle pileups
that have tragic consequences.

Till next time - Drive
Safe and stay out of the smoke if at all possible.


Eugene Herbert



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