Dust storms, sometimes called haboobs, are a real concern for residents of Arizona between the months of May and September. Because there is such a likelihood they will occur during those months, it is important to know how to handle driving in a dust storm and what to check on your vehicle afterwards to ensure your vehicle is ready to get back on the road, safely.
In a Dust Storm
If you are driving and notice a dust storm in the distance, try to get off of the road. At a minimum, you will want to pull over and keep your radio on. Haboobs can travel across the desert at 50 to 60 mph, so make sure to stay inside a nearby shelter or in your vehicle. If you have to pull over to the side of the road, make sure to get all the way off of the paved road to stay out of the way of any traveling vehicles and turn off your lights to avoid collisions. Just like in snow storms in colder regions, drivers will follow tail lights – you don’t want to have yours on and have someone drive into you while you are on the side of the road.
After a Dust Storm
Once a dust storm has passed, you should check your vehicle, even if it was just sitting in your driveway. According to the automobile professionals at Sun Devil Auto, you want to check the following areas.
- The Windshield: Dust storms carry small rocks and other materials that can crack or chip your windshield. You want to check this part of your vehicle for any damage that needs repairing. You also want to check your windshield washer fluid to make sure you are prepared.
- The Undercarriage: During a haboob, dust is spun around and can end up piled in places that it wasn’t before. Because of this, you want to check under your vehicle before you start driving to ensure that nothing is caught in the undercarriage.
- The Tires: Check your tires to ensure that the tread is good. If the tread seems low, you may want to get new tires so that you can be ready for any Arizona weather.
- Check Radiator and Front Grille: Obstructions can cause an overheating condition.
Before you drive your car after a dust storm, make sure that it is road-ready by checking these three areas. Once you have determined the condition of your car, you’re almost ready to go.
Talk to Professionals
Of course, dust storms can cause dust to get inside of your air filter. You should get your car checked regularly to ensure that these Arizona dust storms do not do unnecessary amounts of damage to your car. Proper car maintenance can help keep your car running for a long time. Talk to the professionals at Sun Devil Auto to get your car checked after a big haboob.