Dubai: Authorities and road safety experts have reminded motorists to be extra careful when driving in inclement weather conditions. This follows as low visibility continued to engulf many roads across Dubai on Wednesday, brought about by a dust storm.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) tweeted: “While driving in dust waves, be careful and adhere to the driving guidelines to avoid any potential danger on the road and ensure your own and others’ safety.”
The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) also issued on Wednesday yellow, amber and red warnings to alert residents on dusty conditions. “The winds are expected to blow dust and sand into the air, especially during the day, reducing horizontal visibility. Dusty conditions are expected in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah,” noted NCM.
“Drivers should be careful on the road as the dust hindered visibility to 1,500 metres. Those who suffer from allergies should also take precautions when going outside,” NCM added.
Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, also believes in providing motorists constant reminders. He earlier told Gulf News: “Driving in bad weather in the UAE is often linked to fog, rain or sandstorms with low visibility and slippery road surfaces being the common denominators.”
“The first thing motorists must do when visibility is down is to slow down,” underlined Edelmann, adding: “At the same time, their level of attention should go up and they should also distance up with other vehicles.”
“Adjust your speed so you can always stop within the distance of visibility. Again, slow down. Focus on the road and do not get distracted by your passengers, your phone or other things. Turn on the lights, including low beam head lights, front and rear fog lights but definitely no hazard lights (they are meant for standing cars in case of an emergency),” Edelmann continued.
Tips from RTA when driving in dusty weather
• Before driving in dusty weather ensure that all your car headlights work well.
Please be careful while driving in dusty weather and reduce your speed while switching lanes for your safety and that of others.
• If the weather gets dusty while driving, close your windows and turn on the AC for your safety on the road.
Driving during foggy weather
• For a safe and comfortable drive during foggy weather conditions, stay to the right side of your lane to stay clear from vehicles coming from the opposite direction.
• When driving in the fog, keep an eye on your speed and ensure you have your fog lights on.
• Use your vehicle signals when necessary to warn vehicles coming from behind.
• Do not drive in the fog with your high beam lights as it reduces the visibility, instead drive with your fog lights on.
• If it is foggy outside and you have to stop your car, park it on the side of the road away from passing cars and ensure to turn your hazard lights on.
• Relieve pressure on the accelerator and use the brakes if necessary.
Driving in the rain
• Check the validity of the brakes, tyres and headlights of your vehicle before starting your journey.
• Before driving in the rain, whether it is a short trip or not, make sure your wipers work well for a safe journey.
• If you have to drive in the rain, always double the safety distance between you and the vehicle ahead for your safety and that of others.
• Drive slowly when it is raining so you can always keep control of your car and not worry about having to stop suddenly behind other vehicles.
• Always follow traffic signs and do not instantly press on the accelerator when the traffic light turns green so you do not lose control on the slippery roads.
• Driving in the rain requires you to focus more. Do not overtake other vehicles except in ideal conditions.