Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Storm Driving Tips

With the monsoon rains coming soon (hopefully), the City of Mesa has sent this reminder out:

With the monsoon starting last month it is important to remember that blowing dust and sudden rain storms can occur while you are on the road. These storms can strike quickly and fast thinking can help keep you and other drivers safe during a storm.

If you find yourself driving during a dust or monsoon storm, keep these safety tips in mind:

First and foremost SLOW DOWN. The posted speed limit may not be a safe speed to travel in bad weather. On wet roads your vehicle will have less traction than on a dry road. Slower travel speeds allow for safer braking and stopping distances.

Remember that the beginning of a rain storm is the most dangerous time because oils and other automotive fluids are being washed off the roads causing unusually slick conditions.

Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you and be aware of the vehicles around you in other travel lanes. Braking and stopping distances will be affected by wet roads and slippery roadway surfaces.

Watch carefully for water pooling on the roadway surface as this could cause your vehicle to slide or hydroplane.

Pay attention to hazard signs and roadblocks. If you see a sign that says "Do Not Cross When Flooded," take it seriously and find another way.

Do not enter an area where the roadway has been closed by barricades due to flooding. You don’t know how deep the water is or how fast it is running. Besides, it is against the law and very dangerous to drive into a flooded area.

Drive with your headlights on. This increases your visibility to other vehicles.

At night, slow down and pay close attention to changing road and weather conditions.

Strong winds can be associated with a monsoon storm. Watch for blowing dust and if possible avoid driving into a dust storm.

If you cannot avoid the dust storm drive with your headlights on and slow down.

If you choose to stop in a dust storm, do not stop on the roadway or on the emergency shoulder area. Pull completely off the roadway surface, stop, and turn off all vehicle lights.

Make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Replace worn out tires for better traction and maintain proper tire air pressure, replace worn out windshield wiper blades, and make sure the brakes are in good condition.

Be prepared for unforeseen delays, such as flooded roads, construction or other traffic delays.

If you suffer a mechanical breakdown or tire failure, remain calm, slow down, keep the steering straight and drive the vehicle to a safe area as far from traffic as possible.

ALWAYS wear your seat belt.

Be patient and courteous. Remember other motorists are facing the same weather conditions as you. 

If you need sandbags to protect your home or business from rising water, the City of Mesa provides free sand and bags at locations throughout the City. For a list of sandbag sites and maps go to

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