Wild weather is not uncommon in Arizona. In fact, dust storms, thunderstorms and flash floods visit the Valley of the Sun with regular frequency from June 15th to September 30th. These storms can bring visibility to zero in minutes. They flood streets, delay flights, and cause widespread power outages. Severe weather during monsoon season can also contribute to dangerous driving conditions.
Here are some of the best ways to stay safe while on Arizona’s roadways:
Check current weather conditions before you leave home or work. Up-to-date information can be found by inputting your location into The Weather Channel. You can also set emergency weather alerts on your phone. This is usually done through your settings.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Ensure your vehicle is in optimal driving condition. You should: Replace worn windshield wipers; check tire pressure and tread; rotate and balance tires; and do an oil change as well as top off fluids. You should also make sure your headlights, brake lights, and turning signals all work. Replace any that are burnt-out.
Expect the Unexpected
It’s always a good idea to carry a basic roadside emergency kit – especially in Arizona. They don’t take too much space and are easily stored in the trunk of your car. A good roadside emergency kit should include:
- Tow straps
- First Aid Kit
- Basic toolset
- A change of clothes
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Bottled water and non-perishable snacks
- Jumper cables or a portable jump starter
- Flares or reflectors to signal for help and warn other drivers
You can either buy a pre-made kit, adding missing essentials as needed, or build your own using the above item suggestions. If you already have a kit, periodically reviews its contents, replacing anything expired or damaged.
When in Doubt, Wait It Out
If you encounter a dust storm or heavy rain, ADOT stresses the importance of safely pulling off the roadway and if possible, exiting completely. You should, however, never stop in a travel or emergency lane. Turn off all vehicle lights, set your emergency brake and with your seatbelt fastened, wait for the storm to pass. They’re generally brief.
Navigate Away from Flooded Areas
If you encounter a flooded area, turn around and find an alternate route, rather than attempt to drive through it. Remember that water levels can be deceiving. Proceed with caution when driving through standing water as well. Driving too fast can cause a car to hydroplane. Never tailgate when it’s raining or the roads are wet.
L&L Asphalt is a woman-owned asphalt and repair services company. We have been awarded many projects by general contractors and municipalities. Our services include dust abatement management programs, permanent asphalt replacement, street widening, and asphalt overlays. Contact us at (623) 434-1200 for more information.