Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dust storms and dust channels: What’s the difference?

dust picture

By Doug Pacey / ADOT Communications

Everyone knows it’s dangerous to drive into a massive, towering dust storm. It’s easy to avoid these because they can be seen miles in the distance, giving drivers the opportunity to exit a highway or choose a different route.

But what about blowing dust that whips across the freeway and engulfs your vehicle in low or no visibility without warning? These are called dust channels, fast-moving blowing dust events that can cause serious crashes because they give drivers little or no time to respond.

If you encounter a dust channel – or one encounters you – follow the Pull Aside, Stay Alive tips:
  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle 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.
  • 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 highway.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights, including emergency flashers. You do not want other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing into your parked vehicle.
  • Set emergency brake and take foot off the brake.
  • Stay in vehicle with seat belts buckled and wait for the storm to pass
While blowing dust can occur anywhere in Arizona, there’s a stretch of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson where dust channels often suddenly develop. Half of all blowing dust-related crashes on I-10 occur within a half-mile of milepost 214, northwest of Picacho Peak. In response, ADOT is in the process of installing a first-of-its-kind dust detection zone from mileposts 209-219.
Posted by Caroline Carpenter   |  Labels:  dust-channel, dust-storm, Pull-Aside-Stay-Alive, Safety


The Arizona Ombudsman – Citizens Aide helps you resolve ongoing issues with State Agencies.

Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.