Driving Safety Home: Being prepared for summer weather can make all the difference

Driving Safety Home: Being prepared for summer weather can make all the difference

July 16, 2018

Stormy weather

By Dallas Hammit / ADOT State Engineer

Summer is officially here, and in Arizona, the season brings with it many weather-related safety warnings to be aware of. As we all know, it’s not just about the heat — we also have monsoons and dust storms to contend with in the coming months.

Over the years, ADOT has strived to reach out to drivers with information on how to plan ahead and take precautions to stay safe.

There are many resources for motorists to learn from, all available on ADOT’s website. You’ll find extensive safety tips on everything from what to do if you find yourself in a dust storm to prepping your car for a road trip.

For convenience, I wanted to share some of those links with you in this message.

High temperatures: Even if your vehicle has air conditioning, you should always be ready for a potential breakdown or crash that could force you to spend an extended amount of time stopped on the road. Find tips on how to prepare at For those of you who work outside, ADOT has some helpful pages related to heat stress and heat-related illness.

Monsoons: Drivers should always be prepared and, if necessary, be ready to wait out heavy rain, high winds and blowing dust. If you do find yourself on the road during a monsoon storm, you hopefully will remember the precautions available at

Dust storms: The No. 1 thing to remember about dust storms is to NOT drive into one — avoid these walls of dense, blowing dust by safely pulling off the road. If you encounter a dust storm or a dust channel, immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down. Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway — do it as soon as possible. Once you’re safely off the road, turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers — you don’t want other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing into your parked vehicle. Set your emergency brake, take your foot off the brake and stay in your vehicle with your seat belt buckled until the storm passes. Find additional safety tips and videos on

Being well informed and having a plan ahead of time can make a big difference if you’re ever driving in extreme weather. I hope you’ll visit the online safety resources listed above and share the information with your family and friends.

Editor's Note: More safety messages from Dallas Hammit, ADOT's state engineer and deputy director for transportation, are available at Driving Safety Home on