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Arizona DPS encouraging drivers to be prepared for monsoon season

Lightning streaks across the night sky as a monsoon storm sweeps through the Phoenix metro area Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – As monsoon season rapidly approaches, the Arizona Department of Public Safety is urging drivers to be prepared when adverse conditions hit.

A typical Arizona monsoon can come with little to no warning, immediately bringing dark skies, high winds and heavy rain.

“With the approach of the summer Monsoon season in Arizona, being prepared is key,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a statement to DPS. “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.”

Drivers are encouraged to take precaution when there is a threat of a monsoon.

Checking your surroundings and reducing speeds will help avoid hydroplaning if it begins to rain. Additionally, exiting the highway when possible is a practice DPS says will help keep you and others around you safe.

When exiting the highway isn’t an option, pulling completely off the roadway and turning off all lights will deter other motorists from using your lights as guidance.

Once off the road, DPS says you should take your foot off the brake pedal and set the emergency break instead. Remain in the vehicle with your seatbelt fastened and wait for the storm to pass.

Aside from sudden downpours, dust storms can also be the result of a monsoon storm, at times creating near-blackout conditions.

DPS says checking roadways is also a safe practice when heading out during monsoon season. Up-to-date traffic information can be viewed on the Arizona Department of Transportation’s statewide map.

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