Friday, June 9

How to drive in haze and other unusual conditions

J. BACORELLE The Ship of Avila

The cloud of Saharan air that the Celia storm has brought to our territory has come to remind us to what extent the dust in suspension is capable of altering the conditions for safe driving. The accumulated sand in the vehicles not only makes visibility difficult, but can cause breakdowns and damage to the cars.

In addition, this unusual phenomenon is accompanied by intense gusts of wind and rain, so it is important to remember some important guidelines when driving in these conditions.

From Alquiber they offer us a series of tips to know how to react to this reddish ‘fog’ when you are behind the wheel.

Thus, if you come across one of these clouds on a road trip, the first thing you should do, as always, is to be cautious, especially if it is accompanied by rain, since the drops mixed with the dust reduce the grip of the tires. . Drive moderately, reducing speed and increasing the safety distance. In this way you will avoid sudden movements that can lead you to leave the road.

see and be seen

With haze, as with fog, we face dangerously reduced visibility, so, in addition to reducing speed, avoiding sudden maneuvers and increasing safety distance, it is key to have a clean front window. Check the condition of the brushes to make sure they perform their function well and allow you to see properly. Also, do not forget that you must help other drivers to see you. Turn on the dipped headlights and, in cases where the cloud is very thick, it is advisable to use the fog lights, but only in the situations that are necessary, since otherwise you can dazzle other drivers.

If you come across a scenario in which visibility is compromised – with neighborhood rain, for example – don’t risk it: it’s better to stop and wait for it to subside.

Despite the fact that at this time of year you already want to lower the windows and create current in the car (especially useful if you are traveling with people who are not living together), if you are driving in the middle of a cloud of Saharan dust, it is advisable to close them and settle for the air conditioning, activating recirculation mode if the condition of the filter so requires. Thus, we will avoid irritation in the eyes and respiratory tract and even the accumulation of sandstone inside the vehicle.

The accumulated mud in the car prevents the driver from seeing well and being seen by the user. Here are the reasons to clean it properly before driving:

-A dirty car is less visible. Cars in dark colors have been shown to be less visible to other drivers. For this reason, it is important that the vehicle maintains the color. The shine offered by a clean car contributes to its visibility.

-A dirty glass prevents the driver from seeing well and also contributes to reflections and glare. For this reason, it is important to clean the crystals both outside and inside.

-The headlights help to see better in low visibility conditions and to be seen by other users. The accumulation of dirt in the headlights interferes with the light they emit.

-The accumulation of dust and dirt will accelerate the aging process of the elements of the vehicle and, therefore, of the car itself.

Norauto recommends cleaning the windshield first in order to be able to take the vehicle to a washing area where strong water pressure can be exerted on the car. It is not recommended to scratch until all the mud has been removed to avoid scratching.

driving in bad weather

However, this unusual meteorological phenomenon should not make us forget that we are still exposed to storms -which according to weather forecasts will visit us next week- so, in addition to the advice mentioned above, we must also take into account these other recommendations .

If the rain is heavy, pockets of water may quickly form. It is recommended to monitor the condition of your tires, without skimping on their maintenance in times of more pleasant weather conditions. Tire maintenance is important at any time of the year, since it is the only surface of the vehicle in contact with the asphalt. It is important to ensure that the pressure is correct according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The proper condition of the tires will increase grip on the pavement and reduce the chances of encountering risky situations such as aquaplaning. If you find yourself in these circumstances, take your foot off the accelerator slightly to slow down, but without braking, and keep the steering wheel straight.

If you come across an electrical storm, you should know that inside the vehicle you will be safe, since these are Faraday cages and, therefore, do not allow electricity to pass through them, since they conduct it through its surface to the land. Of course, turn off the radio and avoid touching the metal parts of the vehicle.

When do you have to stop?

If the rain or hail is heavy and does not let you see, or if the hail accumulates on the road and forms a layer of ice, it is best to stop the vehicle in a safe area and wait for it to subside. Stop the vehicle in a safe place that does not block traffic at any time and turn on the hazard lights, dipped beam lights and fog lights. As always, it is very important to be seen and alert other drivers to your presence.

Although it is not always possible to know when a storm is going to catch you, it is recommended that you inform yourself of the weather forecast and the state of the roads to avoid adverse situations as much as possible.

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