Well, would it be summer in Arizona without some monsoons and haboobs sprinkled in with the scorching heat? Over the past few weeks, these rain and dust storms have decided to come in bunches. But as all Arizona residents know, a few months of heat and monsoons is a small price to pay for the beautiful Arizona weather we experience for three quarters of the year. Believe it or not, that cooler weather is right around the corner. However, while we await for cooler days to arrive, we must always remember to stay healthy and safe during these peak times for heat, rain, and dust storms.
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:
- 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, remember to check your tire treads. Ensuring that your tires are not worn can make all the difference on a rainy day.
- Driving Safety. The typically dry climate of Arizona can make one forget what it is like to drive on a slippery roadway. There is no question that Monsoon rains create slippery driving surfaces that can increase the risk of hydroplaning. 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. Also, it goes without saying, ALWAYS wear your safety restraints.
- Lights on? Lights off? If you are caught on the 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.
- 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.
- Be Patient. Again, most Arizona residents have limited experience driving in such adverse weather. Road rage, impatient speeding, or tailgating will make the hazards of driving through monsoons and haboobs all the more dangerous. Be courteous to other drivers and remember that the safety of all Arizona drivers is what is important.
Haboobs and monsoons decrease visibility and force Arizona drivers into adverse driving conditions. When Arizona residents are injured, we, at Torgenson Law, are here to weather the storm and fight for their personal injury needs. If you or someone you know experienced a car crash in Arizona, please call Torgenson Law today at (602) 726-0747.