The Monsoon is in high gear here in Arizona. Despite constant warnings from first responders and the media, there are dozens of preventable accidents and rescues every single year. According to the Arizona Experience, the monsoon season begins on June 15 and ends on September 30, but the storms peak between mid-July and mid-August. On average, Arizona receives about half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon.
At Ric’s, we are here to help you get back on the road after an accident, but we’d much rather see you never get into an accident at all. With that in mind, here are 5 easy things you can do to stay safe this monsoon season.
- Subscribe for Weather Alerts
There are several ways you can get real-time text or email weather alerts on your phone. You can sign up for alerts via the NOAA, or through multiple apps made for both Apple and Android devices. If there is severe weather heading your way, stay off the roads if possible.
- Take Caution in Rain
If you’re caught in the rain, two things you should do immediately are slow down and make sure your headlights are on. Turning on your headlights will help people see you. Slowing down will help prevent hydroplaning, which is when your car skids on top of water. Don’t feel pressured to drive faster than you’re comfortable. It’s OK to let people pass you, we won’t tell.
- In a Dust Storm: Pull Aside, Stay Alive
If you find yourself caught in a dust storm, immediately check your surroundings and slow down. If you can, exit the freeway completely. If you can’t exit, pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway. DO NOT stop on a travel or emergency lane. Turn off your vehicle lights, put on your emergency brake, take your foot off the manual brake and stay in your vehicle until the storm passes.
All of these tips, which come from ADOT, are meant to prevent other cars from running into you while stopped, a common cause of fatal accidents in an Arizona dust storm.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown
You may have heard this phrase on the television or radio. It’s a national campaign to get drivers to stop driving through moving water because it’s incredibly dangerous. If you see a sign warning you about a flood area, or if you see standing/moving water on the road, DO NOT drive through it. Avoiding water on roadways is an easy way to keep yourself safe during the monsoon. Remember, your car is fixable or replaceable, YOU are not.
- Be Safe During Rescues
If your car stalls or you do get swept away there are specific things you need to do to stay safe. First, if possible, get onto the roof of the car. Second, call 911 and tell the operator exactly where you are. If the water is low enough, walk to safety while watching out for debris. If the water is too high, wait for the rescue team on the roof of the car.
If your car is damaged by the monsoon, falling trees or scratches, bring it to Ric’s Body and Paint. Accidents happen, it’s our goal to get you bad on the road painlessly.