Arizona's monsoon begins in June and continues through September. With the rainy season comes higher humidity and temperatures, which can lead to thunderstorms, lightning, heavy rain, hail, flash flooding, and high winds. Follow these driving tips and avoid risking your life and being cited under the Stupid Motorist Law, making you, the driver, liable for the expenses of emergency response required to rescue you and any passengers in your vehicle, along with vehicle removal.
Monsoon safety driving tips
- Expect the unexpected. Have extra supplies, including a fully charged cell phone, drinking water and an emergency kit in case you experience an extended highway closure.
- When in doubt, wait it out! If you see a dust storm or heavy rain ahead, it’s best to exit and wait for the storm to move through the area. Get to a safe area as far off the roadway as possible.
- When faced with low- or zero-visibility conditions, pull your vehicle off the road as far to the right as possible. Turn off your lights, set the parking brake, and take your foot off the brake pedal. These steps reduce the chances that other drivers mistake your vehicle as the one to follow.
- Don’t risk crossing a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep. Water is a powerful force that should not be underestimated. Even a few inches of running water poses a serious risk.
- Do not drive around “Road Closed” signs. You risk your life and face being cited under the state’s Stupid Motorist Law.
- If traffic lights are out, treat an intersection just like a four-way stop.
- Storm runoff can loosen boulders and rocks on slopes above highways. Stay alert in areas prone to falling rocks.
Dust storm safety driving tips
- If you encounter a dust storm, immediate check for traffic around your vehicle and slow down.
- Pull off the road as soon as possible. Do not wait until poor visibility makes it too difficult to do so.
- Do not stop in the travel lane or in the emergency lane. Look for a place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
- Turn off all lights, including the safety flashers, set your emergency brake, and take your foot off the brake pedal. This will help vehicles behind you from crashing into you.
- Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelt buckled and wait out the storm.