Phoenix - A typical Arizona summer monsoon usually starts off with sudden darkened skies followed by high winds and a heavy quick downpour. If you’re on the road when that happens, especially in the rural areas, it’s important to know how to react when a monsoon produces a blinding dust storm creating near blackout conditions. Here are a few tips recommended by the Arizona Department of Public Safety to coincide with Monsoon Awareness Week.
• Wear your seatbelt
• Travel at reduced speeds to help avoid hydroplaning once it begins raining
• Check traffic around your vehicle and begin to slow down
• When safe to do so, completely exit the highway if possible
• If you are unable to exit the highway, pull completely off the paved portion on applicable roadways
• Do not wait until poor visability to pull off the roadway
• Do not stop in a travel lane or an emergency lane
• Turn off all vehicle lights - you don’t want others to follow you by using your lights as a guide
• Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake
• Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt buckled
• Be patient and wait for the storm to pass
Most importantly, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, dial 9-1-1.
“With the approach of the summer Monsoon season in Arizona, being prepared is key,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “There are simple steps every Arizona driver and passenger should follow, including always wearing your seatbelt. Our Department of Public Safety provides important guidance for traveling during dangerous weather conditions.”
Before setting out check highway and weather conditions by going to Az511.com. For a quick reference to the DPS monsoon/dust storm driving tips go to:
Driving a vehicle on state and federal highways demands your full attention. That is even more important during adverse weather conditions. Never drive distracted, never drive impaired, get plenty of rest and slow down!