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Three Types of Desert Weather That Cause Havoc on Roads

Living in Las Vegas means that we have no choice but to grow accustomed to living in the desert. While most of us enjoy the heat that the desert brings and the pleasant temperatures that arrive during the winter months, extreme heat is by far the most common weather-related challenge that we have to adjust to in the course of our daily lives.

Simply put, there are not many things that can go wrong with the weather in the desert, and for many of us, that is reassuring when comparing our climate to places in the United States where almost anything can happen at any time.

One of the reasons that we feel reassured by a relative level of consistency with our weather is because it makes driving almost any type of vehicle much easier than plowing through snow or dealing with heavy thunderstorms. However, that doesn't mean that difficult driving conditions don't ever arise and that weather-related vehicle accidents don't occur.

Dangerous Road Condition #1: Heavy Rain

The recent rainstorms that hit the Las Vegas area turned the roads in the area into a terrible mess. Rain in the desert can lead to serious problems on the roads for several reasons. When the pavement is not used to moisture and it does not get wet for long periods of time, oil can accumulate on the surface. When a large amount of water is suddenly added to the oil, the pavement can become extremely slippery to the point where it is almost like driving on ice.

In addition to the slippery roads, running water can appear very quickly in the desert. This water will rush across the pavement and increase the likelihood of hydroplaning. That's because the ground here is not equipped to absorb a lot of water, and when a large amount suddenly falls that water has nowhere to go.

Dangerous Road Condition #2: High Winds

We have all experienced the winds that can whip through the desert at one time or another. These winds clearly create problems on the roads, and one of the reasons is the lack of clarity that it creates in terms of the visibility levels for drivers. When high winds combine with the sand of the desert, enormous dust storms can erupt.

These dust storms not only all but remove the ability to see anything that's happening on the road, but they also are powerful enough to push vehicles around to the point where movements become unpredictable. The combination of low visibility and vehicles making sudden and involuntary movements is one that is extremely dangerous.

Dangerous Road Condition #3: Dust Storms

As mentioned above, one of the most random and surprising natural events that can occur almost anywhere in the world, and will affect motorists in a negative way are dust storms. These storms seem to come from nowhere, and many of them are not predicted because they tend to arise from a swath of wind that crosses paths with another. While many dust storms are not necessarily destructive, they can make things extremely difficult for motorists who suddenly find themselves without the ability to see.

Clearly, that creates an extremely dangerous situation that usually requires immediate steps to be taken. When caught driving in a dust storm, the police department has offered the following suggestions:

  • Pull off to the road as far to the right as possible.
  • Turn off the lights on the vehicle.
  • Take your foot off of the brake pad.

The thinking behind turning off the lights and removing your foot from the brake is to avoid having other motorists think that you're still on the road. This could lead them off the road and into your rear bumper.

Contact An Experienced Legal Team

Despite the difficulties that bad weather in the desert presents for drivers, motorists are still expected to adhere to reasonable performance standards. If you have been injured by a negligent driver in any type of weather, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.