MCDOT asks drivers to remain vigilant when driving during the monsoon
Phoenix, AZ—As the monsoon officially kicks off on June 15, the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) reminds drivers to put safety first while driving in a storm. The National Weather Service defines June 15 through September 30 as “The Monsoon” however, in Maricopa County, storms typically arrive later in the summer so officials encourage residents to remain vigilant when driving throughout the season.
“We urge drivers to subscribe to cell phone weather notifications and stay on top of current weather forecasts. If you don’t need to be on the road, wait out the storm,” said MCDOT Director Jennifer Toth. “It’s important that drivers know what to do to stay safe and that they take a moment to get prepared and refresh their memory by reviewing monsoon driving tips,”
MCDOT offers several tips for driving safely in the storm.
- Put the phone down: We know the Arizona skies can be breathtaking during a monsoon but put the phone down. Don’t try to take pictures of the storm while driving. Save the picture taking for when you’re safely pulled off to the side of the road.
- Be prepared for power outages: If a traffic signal is out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
- Slow down: Don’t forget posted speed limits are recommendations for best weather conditions. During the rain and especially at the onset of rain, slow down! This is the time when oils and other automotive fluids are being washed off and roads are more likely to be slick.
- Be patient: Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. It takes three times longer to stop on a wet road than a dry one.
- “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” A vehicle can be swept away in just one to two feet of water. Water on roadways may be deeper than it looks and, the strength of the current is often underestimated. If you’re stuck in a flood, climb onto the roof of your vehicle and call for help.
- When possible, “Pull Aside, Stay Alive.” Pull completely off the road, turn off all lights, set your parking brake and take your foot off the brake so others do not use your lights to guide them. If you cannot get completely off the road, reduce speed so you have some visibility, use the center line as a guide and intermittently sound your horn. When you can, pull off the road.
For more information for flood preparedness and recovery, contact the Maricopa County Flood Control District at http://www.fcd.maricopa.gov