ADOT cautions drivers about strong winds, blowing dust

PHOENIX - The Arizona Department of Transportation cautions drivers that strong winds and blowing dust could affect travel on Friday and Saturday.

According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts reaching 40 to 50 mph could kick up dust, limiting visibility on highways throughout the state.

Drivers are advised to stay alert Friday and Saturday especially along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, State Route 347 near Maricopa, Interstate 8 between Yuma and Casa Grande, and Interstate 40 from Flagstaff to Holbrook.

ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommend the following driving tips when encountering a low-visibility dust storm:

Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.

If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately 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, away from where other vehicles may travel.

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.

Be aware that any storm can cause power outages to overhead roadway lighting and traffic signals. Drive with caution and treat all intersections without signals as having stop signs in all directions.

For more information and safe driving tips, visit PullAsideStayAlive.org .

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