ADOT advises drivers be prepared for monsoon weather dangers
PHOENIX — With storms expected to roll into the Valley, the Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be prepared for monsoon weather dangers.
Monsoon storms can produce thunderstorms with sudden, heavy rainfall and drivers should expect wet highways, possible flooding and debris, ADOT said in a press release.
Drivers are advised not to cross a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep because a few inches of running water could still pose a serious risk.
ADOT also warns people to not drive around road-closed signs as it is not only a risk but violators could be cited under state law.
People are advised to reduce speed and maintain a safe distance between vehicles during storms, avoid sudden braking that can cause sliding on wet pavement as well as reducing speed by slowly taking your foot off the gas pedal and braking slowly.
Prior to hitting the road, drivers should inspect windshield wipers and replace them if necessary.
Monsoon weather can also produce dust storms that may turn into a haboob.
Blowing dust can drop the visibility to zero in almost no time, ADOT said.
If caught in a dust storm, drivers should pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway safely as quickly as possible.
People should then turn off all vehicle lights, including emergency flashers, so other vehicles don’t approach from behind and use the lights as a guide which could result in them crashing into your vehicle.
Once stopped with the lights off, drivers are advised to set the emergency brake and take your foot off the brake while remaining in the car with the seat belt buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
Drivers are also advised by ADOT to be careful when traveling through areas where wildfires have burned as storm runoff could send debris onto the highway as well as loosen boulders and rocks on slopes above the roadways.