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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > 8 people killed in Utah sand storm

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mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 07/27/21 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I saw it was a cnn link and closed the window immediately...

In general, when I get into this type of situation, snow in my case, I slow and drive no faster than I can see and keep rolling until I come to a stopped car in front of me, then I stop. This gives trucks or other crazy car drivers behind me the max distance to themselves stop before hitting me. Rolling another 30-50 or 100 feet further up the road might just be all the driver behind me needs to stop before slamming into me. Defensive driving!
I will pull off the road if possible if I am stopping, but with no visibility the rear driver can drift on to the shoulder, so this only gives me a slight increase in chances. In a white-out situation as this sand storm you do the best you can....
It is good to think about your options before you get into that situation and are in a panic.

obgraham

TriCites WA

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Posted: 07/27/21 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been in a few of these sudden dustups, mostly in Utah and Nevada. They are truly frightening, because you really have no actually safe option.
Pulll over? -- okay, but if your flashers are on that might convince somebody to follow right into you. Moreover, the dust might last a very long time.
Stop? -- well, look at this one.
Keep going to get out of it? -- when you can see nothing?

No choice is reliably safe.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 07/27/21 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The best choice is to pull off as far as possible, lights off, foot off the brake, flashers off as you don't want someone to follow your lights. Wait it out.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/27/21 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

The best choice is to pull off as far as possible, lights off, foot off the brake, flashers off as you don't want someone to follow your lights. Wait it out.


It all depends on the situation.

Pulling off the side with no lights or flashers can be extremely deadly.

Here is a real life situation I ran into one early clear morning before dawn (no sun light).

Just got on to an Interstate and accelerated to 60 MPH, drove two miles in the clear with perfect visibility.

Out of the blue I was blanketed in what I thought was a dense fog cloud so thick that I couldn't see past my hood and the fog covered all lanes of the road. Fortunately no one was in front of me or behind me and I stomped on the brakes down to a crawl (under 5 MPH)..

Drove 1/4 mile that way with zero visibility until I saw blinking 4 ways on a semi tractor (as the "fog" thinned out some) that was on the side of the road (where you mentioned to go). The fog cloud was coming from the semi!

Near as I could figure, the semi blew a radiator hose or some part of the cooling system creating a very dense cloud of antifreeze vapor.

If I would have pulled off and turned all lights off (including 4 ways)I would have possibly drove right into the semi in the process or the next vehicles that would have been driving my direction may have plowed into me and the semi..

The idea of 4 ways is to provide some sort of hint to drivers that may be around you that you are there and you are moving slower than posted speed limit, or have become disabled (on the road or on the berm)and had to make an emergency stop.

dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 07/27/21 12:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hopefully all of us are manually flipping on our headlights as muscle memory when we start the engine and buckle up, daytime or nighttime.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 07/27/21 01:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thermoguy wrote:


So, your driving along at say 50mph, then a sandstorm fueled by strong winds takes away your visibility so you can't see past your bumper, what do you do? If you hit the brakes, you cause a chain reaction accident on the freeway, if you don't hit the brakes you sail right through it or hit the car in front of you that hit the brakes... Which do you think happened here? No one knows for sure, but on a straight road you would probably drive right out of it is you didn't touch the brakes and just held your car straight. These things happen because someone freaked out and tried to stop and the people behind them didn't.

I almost got in a car accident because someone hit the brakes driving on wet roads, there was an unseen puddle and they hit the brakes in moderately heavy traffic, everyone else just held their course. Hitting the brakes causes the car to swerve vs holding your lane and riding through it.


Decades and millions of miles of driving, and the only time things ever went from can see to drive 50, to can't see at all, was when I had a headlight issue. If you have your head where it belongs you can see that visibility is fading, or you can see a wall of dust, snow, rain, smoke that you can't see thru. If you drop your speed before you hit that wall, you will not hit anything hidden by that wall. There have been times when rain increased to the point I hope I'm on the shoulder.
IMHO, for anybody to say "I must go, even when I can't see because a idiot might not see me stopped" takes a special kind of stupid.
Now often trucks do hit, driving to fast for conditions. But normally the change in conditions is traction, not visibility

Alex and Tee

Jacksonville , FL

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Posted: 07/27/21 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I lived in AZ for 5 years and will be heading back in a few months. Have seen the haboobs they gey from time to time and they always say on the news to pull off the road as far as you can. No lights, no flashers so know one thinks you are on the road and just wait it out. Most states it’s illegal to drive with your flashers on. Shame most people don’t know that.


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cummins2014

Utah

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Posted: 07/27/21 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have driven that area many times ,for one its 80 mph speed limit, and they do every bit of it, I would guess some in the 90 mph range . I have been passed going 80 out thru there . I am usually towing the fifth wheel, so going 65. I never pass a car ,nor a Semi. Occasionally another Rv ,but not many. At those speeds they can stack up pretty fast .

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/27/21 08:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cummins2014 wrote:

I have driven that area many times ,for one its 80 mph speed limit, and they do every bit of it, I would guess some in the 90 mph range . I have been passed going 80 out thru there . I am usually towing the fifth wheel, so going 65. I never pass a car ,nor a Semi. Occasionally another Rv ,but not many. At those speeds they can stack up pretty fast .


According to HERE they list only TWO states which is "illegal" to drive with flashers on.

"However, different states have different rules when it comes to flipping on your flashers while you're driving. It's illegal in places like Florida or Louisiana."

2 out of 50?

That isn't "many" and it is a dumb law too boot.

Why?

Once again from that link above..

"

Generally, hazard lights are for the driver’s safety,” Woodard said.

Traditionally, we’re taught to turn on our flashing hazard lights when we pull off to the side of the road. Woodard said there are a lot of other situations in which your car can be considered a hazard.

“If you feel like conditions are unsafe, whether your vehicle is having mechanical issues, whether you have a flat and you’re just trying to get to the next exit, if there’s inclement weather,” he said."


In other states failing to turn on the 4 ways could result in you getting additional fines if you pull that stunt and are involved in creating an accident..

4 ways are required by federal law to be built into modern vehicles, in my state, they must function to pass state inspection, they are a safety item which may save not only your life but other motorists..

Many states I have traveled through often post signs on long steep hills if you are under the speed limit to turn on flashers..

cummins2014

Utah

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Posted: 07/28/21 07:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

cummins2014 wrote:

I have driven that area many times ,for one its 80 mph speed limit, and they do every bit of it, I would guess some in the 90 mph range . I have been passed going 80 out thru there . I am usually towing the fifth wheel, so going 65. I never pass a car ,nor a Semi. Occasionally another Rv ,but not many. At those speeds they can stack up pretty fast .


According to HERE they list only TWO states which is "illegal" to drive with flashers on.

"However, different states have different rules when it comes to flipping on your flashers while you're driving. It's illegal in places like Florida or Louisiana."

2 out of 50?

That isn't "many" and it is a dumb law too boot.

Why?

Once again from that link above..

"

Generally, hazard lights are for the driver’s safety,” Woodard said.

Traditionally, we’re taught to turn on our flashing hazard lights when we pull off to the side of the road. Woodard said there are a lot of other situations in which your car can be considered a hazard.

“If you feel like conditions are unsafe, whether your vehicle is having mechanical issues, whether you have a flat and you’re just trying to get to the next exit, if there’s inclement weather,” he said."


In other states failing to turn on the 4 ways could result in you getting additional fines if you pull that stunt and are involved in creating an accident..

4 ways are required by federal law to be built into modern vehicles, in my state, they must function to pass state inspection, they are a safety item which may save not only your life but other motorists..

Many states I have traveled through often post signs on long steep hills if you are under the speed limit to turn on flashers..



I have seen some RV's with their flashers on a long grade, but traveling at 65, which seems pretty normal for a lot of Rv's ,I don't recall seeing anyone with flashers on .Is that what you are alluding to replying to my post ?????? I do travel under the speed limit regardless whether its 80 here in Utah or 70 , as said I, at 65 while towing.

* This post was edited 07/28/21 10:30am by cummins2014 *

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