Safety & Accident

Safety Tip: Driving in a Dust Storm

April 25, 2016

VIDEO: Pull Aside, Stay Alive

Dust storms typically strike with little or no warning, often reducing driver visibility to near-zero levels and making driving conditions extremely hazardous.

In recent weeks, major dust storms have hit California, Arkansas and Arizona. Unfortunately, many motorists choose to continue driving in hopes that conditions will quickly improve. That can be a fatal mistake. When a dust storm strikes, the last place you want to be is on the road. Drivers need to wait out the dust storm off the road, not on it.

Here are some safety tips from the National Weather Service you can pass along to fleet drivers.

  • If you observe dense dust blowing across or approaching a roadway, pull your vehicle off the pavement as far as possible. Then stop the vehicle, turn off the lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the taillights aren’t illuminated.
  • Don’t enter the dust storm 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 centerline to help guide you. Look for a safe place to pull off the roadway.
  • Never stop on the traveled portion of the roadway.
  • Make sure all your lights are turned off after you park. Vehicles approaching from the rear and using the advance car’s lights as a guide have inadvertently left the roadway and in some instances collided with the parked vehicle.

The moment you realize you’re in the middle of a dust storm, your No. 1 priority should be to pull your vehicle safely off the road.

To view an Arizona Department of Transportation PSA about dust storms, click on the photo or link below the headline. Keep in mind that dust storms can lead to multiple-vehicle pileups that have tragic consequences, as was the case earlier this month in Arkansas. To view a news video about that dust storm, click here.


  1. 1. Tim C King [ April 26, 2016 @ 10:44AM ]

    Can't over-emphasize the importance of avoidance. Once you've entered an extremely limited visibility situation on a highway it's a "no win" situation. If you slow down, someone's likely to hit you in the rear. And, if you don't, you can similarly run into someone who has slowed down or stopped.

    If you get into this situation, it's best to get off the road as far as possible.


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Amin Amini from Verizon will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Recent Topics

Good afternoon all. We have been looking at trying a fuel additive developed by a company called DPF Remedy. The benefits are supposed...

View Topic

Does anyone run a University fleet similar to ours? New Jersey City University has approximately 10,000 students, 1000 faculty & staff,...

View Topic

Fleet Documents

1025 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

Sponsored by

OEM is an abbreviation for original equipment manufacturer.

Read more