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After you “Pull Aside, Stay Alive,” what comes next?

Turn off all vehicle lights so other cars won’t follow and possibly crash into you
June 10, 2018

PHOENIX – You know not to drive into the towering wall of dust. And if a dust channel whips across a highway and engulfs your vehicle, the mantra “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” can lead you to safety.

But even after you’ve pulled aside, one of the most important actions must still be taken – turn off your lights!

Turn off headlights, emergency flashers, dome lights and take your foot off the brake. Stay buckled up, set the parking brake, go dark and wait for the dust storm to pass.

Here’s why: If you become caught in a dust storm and have pulled off the highway, you’re in a dangerous spot – less dangerous than driving blind on the road, though – and want to hide. You can do that by turning off all vehicle lights. If you leave lights on, drivers behind you might believe you’ve found the way out and follow, crashing into your parked car because low-visibility affects depth perception.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has produced 30-second public service announcements – in English and Spanish – on this topic that will air statewide on television and radio throughout monsoon season as part of ADOT’s partnership with the Arizona Broadcasters Association. The PSAs can be viewed on ADOT’s YouTube channel.

As Monsoon Awareness Week begins and we near the official start of monsoon season, ADOT wants to remind drivers of the No. 1 dust-storm driving tip: Do not drive into a dust storm.

“Road trips are a great way to get out and experience all that Arizona has to offer,” Governor Doug Ducey said. “If there’s a dust storm in your path, it’s time to take a break from driving. Make the safe and smart decision to delay your travel plans and wait for the storm to pass.”

Towering, dense, blowing dust can drop visibility to zero. Just as dangerous are the small dust channels that whip across roadways in an instant, affording drivers little or no opportunity to avoid them. In such events, ADOT has developed the following “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” dust storm safety driving tips, which can help travelers survive a storm.

·         Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.

·         If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.

·         Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway – do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.

·         Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane. Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.

·         Turn off all vehicle lights. You do not want other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing into your parked vehicle.

·         Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.

·         Stay in the vehicle with your seat belt buckled and wait for the storm to pass.

·         Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.

More information on dust storm safety can be found at PullAsideStayAlive.org and safety tips for driving in rainstorms can be found at azdot.gov/monsoon.

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Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.