By Dallas Hammit / ADOT State Engineer
Summer is officially here, and in Arizona, the season
brings with it many weather-related safety warnings to
be aware of. As we all know, it’s not just about the heat
— we also have monsoons and dust storms to contend with in
the coming months.
Over the years, ADOT has strived to reach out to drivers with
information on how to plan ahead and take precautions to
There are many resources for motorists to learn from, all
available on ADOT’s website. You’ll find extensive safety tips on
everything from what to do if you find yourself in a dust storm
to prepping your car for a road trip.
For convenience, I wanted to share some of those links with you in this message.
Even if your vehicle has air conditioning, you should always be
ready for a potential breakdown or crash that could force you to spend an extended
amount of time stopped on the road. Find tips on how to prepare at azdot.gov/extremeheat
For those of you who work outside, ADOT has some helpful pages related to
heat stress and heat-related illness.
Drivers should always be prepared and, if necessary, be ready to wait
out heavy rain, high winds and blowing dust. If you do find yourself on the road
during a monsoon storm, you hopefully will remember the precautions available at
The No. 1 thing to remember about dust storms is to NOT drive into one —
avoid these walls of dense, blowing dust by safely pulling off the road. If you encounter
a dust storm or a dust channel, 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. Once you’re safely off
the road, turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers — you don’t want
other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing
into your parked vehicle. Set your emergency brake, take your foot off the brake and stay
in your vehicle with your seat belt buckled until the storm passes. Find additional safety
tips and videos on PullAsideStayAlive.org
Being well informed and having a plan ahead of time can make a big difference if you’re
ever driving in extreme weather. I hope you’ll visit the online safety resources listed
above and share the information with your family and friends.
Editor's Note: More safety messages from Dallas Hammit, ADOT's state engineer and deputy director for transportation, are available at Driving Safety Home on azdot.gov.