It's heating up in Arizona, which means dust-storm season will soon be upon us. While the frequency of dust storms varies widely from year to year (anyone remember 2011 in Phoenix?), even one storm can wreak havoc on drivers. That's why our bosses at the Arizona Department of Transportation are reminding everyone of the "Pull Aside, Stay Alive" campaign.

Here are the steps ADOT recommends you take if you're on the road and a dust storm hits:

  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic 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.
  • 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.

To learn more, visit ADOT's Pull Aside, Stay Alive page.

Photo: Daniel Bryant (2011 Phoenix haboob)