Swirling, high speed gusts have created dust storms throughout Kansas, leading to several serious car and truck accidents. A fatal collision occurred recently near Great Bend on U.S. 65. Brandon H. Stein, 30, perished in an accident when his vehicle collided with a semi-trailer truck that had stopped in the eastbound highway lanes due to visibility problems caused by blowing dust. Near Liberal, Kansas, more than a dozen vehicles were involved in a pileup accident. Police found that a dust storm had reduced the visibility to almost zero. Six of the vehicles involved were cars and trucks, while the other six were tractor trailers. One accident victim was pinned in her vehicle and had to be extracted with the jaws of life. Others sustained minor injuries, and one horse in a trailer was also hurt.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is advising motorists not to drive through dust storms or smoke from burning, if possible. If drivers are on the road, they should pull off as quickly as possible. Once off the road, KDOT urges drivers to turn off all lights, as other drivers may mistakenly use the stopped vehicle’s lights as a guide.
The following is some more information concerning KDOT’s warnings and other safety tips for navigating through dust storms this spring and summer.
- Heed warnings: During threatening weather, listen to the weather forecast concerning dust storm warnings. If forecasters predict storms with limited visibility, steer clear of the roadways if possible. If work or other obligations force you to drive, follow the safety suggestions below.
- Pull off if you observe dense dust: If you see what appears to be dense dust ahead of you, pull off the roadway as far as possible. Do not enter the dust storm if you can avoid it. Never stop in the highway lane, as you could be hit from approaching vehicles.
- Turn your lights off once parked off the roadway: As KDOT advised, it is best to turn your lights off once you have safely pulled far off the highway. This is because vehicles approaching from the rear may view your lights and inadvertently leave the roadway in an effort to follow them. This can cause vehicles to collide with your parked vehicle. Accordingly, be sure to turn off all lights once you are parked off the roadway.
- Use caution driving through dust:If you cannot pull off the roadway, proceed through the dust at a speed suitable for visibility. Turn on your lights and sound your horn occasionally. Use the painted center line to help guide you when visibility is low. Look for a safe place to pull off.
Contact Kansas City Truck and Automobile Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in car or truck accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. Car and truck accidents can lead to serious injuries or even death. Victims can require months of time away from work and medical treatment. For the victims of car and truck accidents, medical expenses will quickly mount and accident victims should act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential car or truck accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.