Would you know what to do if you were hit by gallons upon gallons of water, flying dust, and gusty winds? Every place has weather, and here in Arizona monsoon season is here. Monsoon season brings us relief from the hot weather. This season can also bring dangerous weather for families and residents alike. With so many children in a car seat and vehicles every day, driving during monsoon season safely becomes even more crucial. Protect yourself and your family when driving during monsoon season with my tips below.
How To Protect Yourself And Family During Monsoon Season
Pull Aside And Stay Alive
When dust storms hit, it can be a tough experience for drivers. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association wind gusts can reach between 40 to 60 miles an hour, and driving visibility can be reduced to a quarter of a mile during a dust storm. Now is the time to pull our car to the side of the road safely and let the storm pass. Turn your lights and your engine off, but turning on your hazards can let other motorists know you are there. Dust storms appear out of nowhere and are usually quick, lasting anywhere from a few minutes. Keep children in a car seat, or buckled into the car.
Turn Around Don’t Drown
You’re driving down the road, and in a split second, the water is pouring down. Luckily, this time, the storm eases off but a flood of water is now in front of you on the road. Should you go forward? Moving water during a monsoon can be very dangerous. Flowing water levels can look low, but pack a powerful punch that leaves your car floating away. One of my past coworkers parked her car on the road and found shelter, only to come back to her car swept away down the road. If the water is at all moving across the road, turn around and find another way to go to keep yourself and your family safe.
Pay attention to the weather alerts, and change your driving plans or path if possible during an emergency warning. Lightning from the sudden storms can also fires that can make driving during monsoon season especially dangerous. If you come to fire from lightning or live power lines, keep a distance and turn around. If the traffic light is out but it’s safe to pass, remember to treat it as a four way stop. Listen to the news, and alter your driving plans and take a safe route once the storm has passed.
Maricopa County Sheriffs Department made this announcement (summer 2018) about the so-called ‘Stupid Motorist Law’. “During Arizona monsoon season, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce a law that permits some motorists to be billed for the cost of their rescue from flash floods because authorities worry people who can’t afford the fine won’t call for help.” There is no word yet about the enforcement of this law for Monsoon 2020.
Do you change your path when you are driving during a monsoon? Does having children in a car seat or car with you change your plans? Tell us how you keep your friends and family safe down below in the comments!
Be sure to contact Home Hazard Prevention for any of your personal or family safety needs. From mobile CPR training to car seat education to infant safety (and much more!), HHP is here to help! Remember, a complete safety program does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. As a group of professional firefighters, there is no one more qualified than us to help keep your family safe! (480) 448-0266 or Nick@HomeHazardPrevention.com
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