PHOENIX — Dust storms can come rapidly during Arizona’s monsoon. If you’re caught up in one, this is what you should do.
It starts with this: pull aside, stay alive.
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- Slow down and safely pull entirely off the road if possible
- Turn off your headlights, do NOT use your hazards and keep your foot off the brake
- Set your emergency brake
- Stay inside your vehicle
- Wait for the storm to pass
>> Track storm activity near you with the 12News Weather Radar.
VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Lo que puede hacer si esta conduciendo durante una tormenta de polvo
ADOT advises people to pull off the road completely during a storm to avoid being hit by emergency vehicles or drivers who become disoriented.
While it seems intuitive to turn on your lights and hazards to alert others where you are, experts said the storm disrupts people’s depth perception, and lights may inadvertently guide a driver to crash into you.
You should not leave your car unless you are in immediate danger, and drivers of high-profile vehicles such as RVs or tractor trailers should be especially cautious.
The best way to avoid getting in harm's way is to not drive into a dust storm. If there’s any sign of a dust cloud heading your way, it’s best to stop and wait it out.
Dust storms, also called the Arabic term haboob, are most common during the monsoon that lasts from June through September.
In 2013, a haboob caused a 19-car pileup on I-10 near Picacho Peak, leading to three deaths and a dozen injuries.
Arizona has seen its fair share of severe weather. Here is a compilation of videos from various storms across the Grand Canyon state.