With monsoon season here, is your vehicle rainstorm-ready?

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications

Monsoon season is officially underway. In addition to dust storms, the monsoon brings the potential for sudden, intense downpours.Get rainstorm ready

Now is the time to get rainstorm-ready. Here are some suggestions for prepping your vehicle:

  • Check your tire pressure and tire treads. You don’t want to be caught on slippery road surfaces with poorly inflated or bare tires.
  • Check your windshield wipers. Blades can quickly wear, crack or become rigid. Their average lifespan is six months to a one year. You don’t want to discover during a deluge that they aren’t up to the task. Also, top off your windshield washer fluid.
  • Clean and check your vehicle's battery. Remove corrosion and ensure cables are securely attached to terminals. We live in a state where batteries tend to last about two years. You don’t want to get caught in driving rain when your battery dies.

Now that your vehicle is shipshape, you need to pack supplies. Bring extra water, an emergency kit, a fully charged cellphone, hand sanitizer, wipes and a cloth face mask. Snacks and extra clothes can be handy if you are in a rain-related backup.

Are you ready for the road? Expect the unexpected. Are you in area prone to falling rocks? Stay alert because rain can loosen them. Are you driving into heavy rain, like this photo to the right from several years ago? Consider delaying travel or waiting it out in a safe spot as far off the road as possible.Flooding

Do you know what to do if your vehicle hydroplanes? This is when you drift due to a thin layer of water between your tires and the asphalt. Ease your foot off the gas pedal until you regain traction. Don't brake suddenly. If you are sliding or drifting, gently turn your steering wheel in the direction of your slide.

Even if you're not hydroplaning, don’t brake suddenly or you could slide on wet pavement. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. To slow down on a wet road, take your foot off the gas pedal and brake slowly.

It may seem like common sense, but do not risk crossing a flooded wash, even it if doesn’t seem deep. Water is a powerful force, as you can see in the photo of past flooding, and you could be swept away. Also, do not drive around “Road Closed” signs. Your risk your life and face being cited under the state’s Stupid Motorist law.

You can find these and other rain safety tips on the weather page of our website. There’s even more safety advice at azdot.gov/monsoon and PullAsideStayAlive.org.