Dust storms are a reality of life in the southwest. While they may be fascinating to watch from the safety of your house, they are also very dangerous when you are on the highway. During a dust storm it may become impossible to see the road itself, much less the lane markings, or any of the cars around you.
One of the most well-known danger areas for dust storm activity is I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, and the two-mile stretch near Picacho Peak is the deadliest part of Arizona’s highway system.
In the past fifteen years, there have been more than 50 crashes in that area, killing more than 10 people and seriously injuring many more. In a recent dust storm in that area, twenty-one vehicles were involved, including both personal automobiles and commercial vehicles, including trucks. There were three deaths and multiple injuries, some very serious. All of these deaths and injuries were avoidable.
If you are driving and encounter a dust storm, you need to immediately pull off the road as far as possible, turn off your engine and your lights, and take your foot off the brake pedal. The danger of failing to follow all of these rules when you pull over is that other drivers who see your tail lights may think that your car is moving, and they may hit you from behind. If you cannot safely pull over, proceed until you can and turn on all your lights, drive at a safe speed for your visibility, and honk your horn periodically to alert other drivers to your presence.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured because other drivers failed to follow these rules of the road for driving in a dust storm, call one of our attorneys for a free consultation. We have represented many people injured while driving on Arizona highways and gotten them the compensation they deserved.
Author: Serena C. Montague
Publication Date: April 28, 2016