Arizona residents likely equate summer to three distinct things: scorching heat, monsoons and haboobs. For those who are new to Arizona, a haboob is a large wall of dust generated by the winds from a thunderstorm. It’s not a typical “dust devil” – the dust wall can be a few thousand feet tall and stretch miles wide.
As Arizona personal injury attorneys, we are always concerned about the health and safety of Arizona residents. In the spirit of summertime health and safety, here are some important reminders to keep you and your family safe during monsoon and haboob season:
1. Car Maintenance. Make sure your windshield wipers and brake lights are in good, working order and your wiper fluid is filled. Monsoon rains are intense downpours and often accompanied with blowing dust and windy conditions. Working windshield wipers will help you safely navigate the monsoon rains and functioning brake lights will help other drivers see your vehicle. In addition, check your tire treads. My father always reminded me to place a quarter upside down into your tread, and look at George Washington’s head. If you can see a space above George Washington’s head on the quarter, then should replace your tires because the treads are worn.
2. Driving Safety. Monsoon rains create slippery driving surfaces that can cause your vehicle to hydroplane. Slower, controlled driving is better in adverse weather conditions, such as monsoons or haboobs. Allowing more space between you and the car in front of you and avoiding sudden braking or turning is generally wise all the time, and especially during monsoons and haboobs, and you should always wear your seatbelt.
3. Lights on? Lights off? If you are driving on a roadway during a monsoon or haboob, turn your headlights on. Other vehicles are able to see you and it decreases the chances of a car crash. If a monsoon or haboob is so severe that you believe you cannot drive safely, navigate completely off the paved roadway. Do not stop on the shoulder or emergency lane. Once you are off the roadway and stopped, put your vehicle in “park” and engage your parking brake. After you stop, make sure to take your foot off the brake and turn off your lights, including your hazard lights. In adverse weather, drivers tend to follow another car’s taillights. If you keep your lights on, another driver may think you are following the roadway and injure you in a rear-end car crash.
4. Arizona’s Stupid Motorist Law. In Arizona, if a driver enters a roadway that is marked as flooded, the driver is charged with reckless driving and could be liable for the expenses incurred in the rescue. (Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-910). This is Arizona’s “Stupid Motorist” law. Simply stated, please do not drive into flooded roadways. If you have any doubt that you cannot make it through a flooded area, do not try to navigate it. You should never cut corners on your safety, or the safety of others.
Haboobs and monsoons decrease visibility and force Arizona drivers into adverse driving conditions. If you or someone you know experienced a car crash in Arizona, please call our Phoenix car accident lawyers at Torgenson Law today, at (602) 726-0747. We handle all types of car crash cases, from rear-end collisions, to tractor-trailer crashes, and we would love to handle yours.