Driver Safety: What you need to know during Arizona’s monsoon season
Arizona drivers beware: Monsoon season is well underway and driver safety should be top of mind. A monsoon is a large-scale change in weather pattern characterized by thunder, lightning, heavy rainfall, flash floods, high winds, dust storms, extreme heat and even hail. The season officially runs from June until September 30, but storms tend to be most frequent from mid-July to mid-August.
As driving is particularly hazardous during monsoon storms, you’ll need to take extra precautions when on the road. To maximize driver safety, take a look at the following tips.
Prepare for Emergencies. Start taking precautions when all is dry. Make sure that your car’s windshield wipers are in good condition; replace them if they’re worn. Keep an emergency supply kit in an easily accessible location in your vehicle. The kit should include bottled water, first-aid items, ready-to-eat food and a flashlight (with extra batteries).
Stay Alert to the Weather. Regularly check weather reports to see whether meteorologists are forecasting any storms before you start out on a drive. If they expect poor weather, or a warning is in progress, postpone your outing until it’s safe.
Driving Safely in a Storm. If you get caught in a storm, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)recommends that you exit the roadway and get to a safe, off-road area, as soon as feasible.
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If visibility is low or at zero, the ADOT recommends you “pull your vehicle off the road as far to the right as possible,” turning off your lights and keeping your foot off the brake pedal, so your brake lights don’t show. ADOT says this reduces the risk that other drivers will try to follow your vehicle.
During heavy rainfall, avoid driving in flooded areas. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle-related. Even if you think the water doesn’t look very deep, running water is surprisingly powerful. A vehicle as large as an SUV can float in less than two feet of water.
Avoid braking sharply, especially if you feel that your car is hydroplaning (sliding or drifting in the water). Instead, ease up on the gas pedal and brake with caution.
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Liability for Driving in Unsafe Conditions. It’s essential that you obey all signs and barricades directions indicating a closed road. Not only is it important for your safety, but under the so-called “Stupid Motorist Law,”you can be liable for the cost of any emergencyservicesrequired to rescue you if you’re stranded.
If you are involved in a monsoon-related or weather-related car accident, contact Zanes Law at (866)499-8989for a free consultation. We can give you insight about how to handle insurance companies, obtain fair compensation and feel more in control.
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