Monsoon season is upon us in Arizona. Monsoons can range from a minor event to a disastrous one. With heavy winds, endless thunderstorms, and walls of rain, monsoons can cause detrimental situations on Arizona roadways. The key to safe driving during monsoon season is preparation and knowledge.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to best prepare for the season, tips for driving in a monsoon, Arizona’s notorious “Stupid Motorist Law,” and what to do if you have to drive in severe weather (though you should try to avoid driving during severe weather).
Preparing for Monsoon Season
The key to staying safe and accident-free during monsoon season is preparation, which means knowing what to expect and how to react. First, make sure your vehicle is maintained. An unmaintained vehicle can make monsoons even more dangerous and deadly for motorists. Common preventable problems that cause accidents, especially in poor weather conditions, include:
- Worn Tires – When the tread wears thin on your vehicle’s tires, hydroplaning during heavy rains is more likely to happen. Additionally, worn tires decrease traction, which makes it more difficult to stop your car, especially in wet conditions.
- Vehicle Lights – During monsoon season, visibility is highly impaired. Couple that with bad lights, and you have a recipe for disaster. Maintaining your headlights and brake lights is crucial.
- Brakes – Making sure your brakes are properly maintained can be a life-saving practice. Having working, maintained brakes during poor weather conditions can help you avoid bad accidents.
- Steering – Lastly, to prepare for monsoon season in Arizona, make sure your steering is working properly, ensuring your power steering fluid is at appropriate levels, and get regular inspections.
Additionally, check the weather conditions before getting behind the wheel during monsoon season. If the weather looks too poor to drive safely, it’s wise to wait it out. If you’ve been injured in an accident, an accident lawyer in Arizona can help you
Tips for Driving Safely During a Monsoon
While driving in bad weather altogether is a bad idea, we can’t always alter our plans. Having some tips in your back pocket may help you avoid accidents during poor conditions. Here are a few common causes of accidents and best-practice strategies:
- Low Visibility – A common cause of accidents during bad weather conditions is low visibility. Maintaining your vehicle lighting. Using extra caution, and driving more slowly can help you avoid accidents during periods of low visibility, which are typical during monsoon season.
- Hydroplaning – Hydroplaning is a huge cause of accidents during heavy rains. Always keep a good distance between your vehicle and other vehicles. This can decrease the chances of a collision in the case you do hydroplane. If you begin to hydroplane, do not slam on the brakes, as this will only exacerbate the situation, causing you to further lose control of the vehicle. Instead, ease your foot off the accelerator and continue to control your steering the best you can.
- Parking – Avoid parking your car under trees, light poles, utility poles, etc. Heavy winds can blow these structures down, damaging your vehicle and possibly hurting you if you are inside or near the car. If an electrical wire from a utility pole snaps and lands near or on your car, do NOT exit your vehicle. Call 911 to assist you.
- Flooding – “Turn around don’t drown” is an important rhyme to remember during heavy rains and floods. Water may look shallow, but it can easily be deceiving. If you get caught in water, you can easily lose control of your vehicle, get stuck in high waters, and put yourself (and emergency rescue teams) in great danger.
Remembering these safety tips may help you avoid catastrophic accidents. If you have been in any of the above situations and suffered injuries, an accident lawyer in Arizona at Impact Legal can help you decide what to do next.
Arizona’s “Stupid Motorist Law”
Arizona’s “stupid motorist law” refers to Arizona Code § 28-910, which outlines liability for emergency responses in flood areas. During monsoon season, many motorists attempt to drive over flooded roadways, which results in them getting stuck and needing rescue. This happens so often that, in 1995, the state passed the “stupid motorist law,” intending to lessen the financial impact on taxpayers for expensive rescues. The law is also intended to decrease the number of dangerous rescues for law enforcement agencies and the public. If you drive around a barrier and get stuck in a flooded area, you may be liable to pay for your rescue.
Monsoon Car Accident Lawyers
Monsoon season in Arizona sees a lot of accidents. While many of them are preventable, accidents do happen. If you have been in an accident during monsoon season, give our accident lawyers at Impact Legal a call. We can help you understand any legal remedies that may be available to you. You can call or text us at (602) 345-1818 to set up an initial free consultation. You can also fill out this convenient online form to request an appointment.