Jun 9, 2014 6:34 PM by Scott Oathout
ARIZONA- The Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to 'Pull Aside, Stay Alive' during the upcoming monsoon season.
This is the third year ADOT is teaming with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service to educate drivers on staying safe during monsoon storms.
ADOT has a list of tips for drivers who encounter a dust storm:
• 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.
• 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.
• Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from where other vehicles may travel.
• 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.
• A driver’s alertness and safe driving ability are always the top factors in preventing crashes.
ADOT has also released public-education announcements that illustrate what can happen if drivers do not 'Pull Aside' during a storm. The announcement focuses on a recent dust-related fatal crash along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.
You can view the new public-education announcements on the links below:
"Driving into a dust storm is very dangerous, but the key is that oftentimes it can be avoided," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "Drivers must be ready to alter their plans if there is a threat of a dust storm. It's better to change plans than try to power through dangerous conditions. But if you're on the road and a dust storm suddenly appears near you, pull off the highway as quickly and safely as possible. Never drive through a dust storm. It's not a risk worth taking."
Since dust storms can develop very quickly, particularly along the Interstate 10 corridor between Phoenix and Tucson, ADOT uses several methods to get information to drivers.
These include electronic highway message boards, social and traditional media, communication with ADOT staff and law enforcement officers in the field, television and radio advertising, and close coordination with partnering agencies.
For more information on the "Pull Aside, Stay Alive" campaign, visit PullAsideStayAlive.org