For desert drivers, this is a familiar sight: the long, straight, asphalt road stretching narrowly towards the horizon, while above it towers a dark and ominous immensity of storm clouds. Dark streaks of rain blur the sky between the clouds and the desert floor. Lightning flashes. Soon, you are going to be driving through that. It is a dangerous situation to confront.
Avoid if Possible
You may be confronting a dangerous situation, but that does not mean you can’t protect yourself! When planning a long road trip, drivers should always start by mapping out their route, then checking the weather. If they see ahead of time that a large storm will be crossing their path, they can plan an alternative, safer route. Avoiding the danger entirely is the best way to stay safe. Sometimes avoiding a storm may be impossible, but don’t worry, there are actions you can take while in a storm to keep yourself safe!
Driving in a Storm
The primary dangers in a storm are going to come from the wind and the rain. Rain is going to hinder your vision and make the roads slick and difficult to navigate. Powerful winds can push around even the heaviest of cars. This is even more dangerous on slippery, rain coated roads. The first thing drivers should do is slow down. Even if it is daytime, you need to turn on your headlights as visibility is going to decline. Focus on the road. Lighting will flash and thunder will rumble, but thunder and lightning pose as a less immediate danger than simply navigating the road. If conditions are still too hazardous even after you have slowed down and turn on your headlights, it may be time to pull over and wait for the storm to pass. This may take some time, but an hour lost isn’t worth your life!