Drivers should be prepared for low visibility because of blowing dust today between Phoenix and Tucson as well as in southeastern Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The National Weather Service has issued a blowing dust advisory from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The affected areas include Interstates 10 and 8 between Phoenix and Tucson, and along the portion of I-10 in southeastern Arizona’s Cochise County. Gusts of up to 50 mph are possible, which could produce widespread areas where visibility is reduced to less than one mile.
Motorists should be aware that strong winds can result in sudden periods of limited or zero visibility due to blowing dust. ADOT urges drivers to “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” when dust moves in. The following are driving tips when encountering a low-visibility dust storm:
- Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
- 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.
- If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
- 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 seat belts 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 is still the No. 1 factor in preventing crashes.
For more information on drivers tips, please visit www.PullAsideStayAlive.org.
For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at www.az511.gov or call 511.