Drivers cautioned to prepare for adverse weather across Arizona

The Arizona Department of Transportation reminds drivers to be prepared as a mid-week storm system crosses the state. The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. Winds up to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph are possible and motorists should be ready for low visibility due to blowing dust. Even though monsoon season is over, blowing dust is possible throughout the year.

Along with wind and dust, drivers may encounter snow in the high country, especially above 6,000 feet. Travelers should be prepared for winter driving conditions and pack an emergency road kit. For more winter driving tips, visit http://azdot.gov/KnowSnow.

ADOT works closely with the National Weather Service and the Arizona State Troopers to inform motorists about road conditions. Drivers are advised to use extra caution along Interstate 10, Interstate 17 and Interstate 40 and be prepared for a dust storm.

ADOT recommends the following driving tips when encountering high winds or dusty conditions:

  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately 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, away from where other vehicles may travel.
  • 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, including your emergency flashers.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts 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.
  • Be aware that any storm can cause power outages to overhead roadway lighting and traffic signals. Drive with caution and treat all intersections without signals as having stop signs in all directions.

For more information and driving tips, please visit PullAsideStayAlive.org.

For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at az511.gov or call 5-1-1.

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