Where will you be when the dust settles?

Where will you be when the dust settles?

June 15, 2015

It’s that time of year again when we remind you to “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” if you ever encounter a dust storm...

Even if you’ve heard the message before, we hope you’ll keep listening and help us spread the word because there are plenty of young drivers and new Arizona residents who might not yet understand the real dangers of driving into a dust storm.

Know anyone who fits that description? We encourage you to educate them about dust storm safety. Of course, you can point them in our direction!

From websites and blog posts to Tweets and haikus, we have a lot to share, including today’s video, a brand new public service announcement that was created by ADOT and its partners at the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service.

Haboob Haiku

In addition to the video and a new radio public-education announcement, ADOT will be using social media all this week to engage Arizonans in spreading the word to “Pull Aside, Stay Alive.”

You know what that means: the “Haboob Haiku Challenge” is back for a fourth year!

You can read in detail why we #HaboobHaiku in this blog post, and you’ll see that our main focus each year is to get people talking about the dangers of driving in dust storms. By building awareness about dust storm safety, we hope more drivers will know what to do when that next dust storm hits.

But this year we’re putting a slight twist on the tradition…

Instead of asking you to focus your poems on the “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” message as we have in the past, this monsoon season we’d like for you to show off your creativity by telling us where you'll be when the dust settles with haikus about how to drive safely during dust storm events. Here’s an example:

When the dust settles

I will be safe off the road

With my seatbelt on

Don’t forget to use the #HaboobHaiku hashtag. You can Tweet your poems to us @ArizonaDOT or post them to our Facebook page. You’ll also want to remember that haiku is a type of poetry that conforms to a certain syllable structure. These poems are traditionally written in three lines – the first line consists of five syllables, the second line has seven and the third ends the poem with five.

Finally, we want to make sure you see (and share) these driving tips. They’re not just inspiration for your haikus, but important reminders for drivers who encounter a dust storm.

  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately 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. Completely exit the highway if you can.
  • 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 your 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 seatbelts 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 in high wind.
  • A driver’s alertness and safe driving ability are always the top factors in preventing crashes. It is your responsibility to avoid distracted or impaired driving.

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