What should I do when driving in a dust storm?

I’m moving to Arizona in a few weeks, and I realized that I’ve never driven in desert conditions. What should I do if I’m driving and I run into a dust storm?

Kaitlin May · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Congratulations on the move! Arizona is beautiful, but those dust storms can be dicey.
When driving in a dust storm, your visibility will be instantly depleted—along with everyone else’s. So, here’s the No. 1 thing you should do: don’t drive into a dust storm.
An infamous, real-life example of a 19-vehicle crash in 2013 near Picacho Peak can serve as a cautionary tale to any Arizona driver. But what happens if there’s no way to avoid the grips of a dust storm when you’re on the road? The Arizona Department of Transportation says to pull aside, stay alive.
In addition to pulling over at the first sign of dusty danger, you can practice these tips:
  • Check traffic all around you and slow down
  • Find a safe place to pull over that doesn’t obstruct driving lanes
  • Turn off your vehicle lights so cars don’t approach behind you
  • Pull up your emergency brake
  • Stay seated with your seatbelt on until the storm dissipates
It’s best to completely exit the highway if it’s possible and safe to do so. The goal is to reduce the risk of vehicles colliding with each other within the dark cloud of dust.
If you dodge a collision with another car but still incur damage to your car in the storm, you’ll want to have
comprehensive coverage
on your car insurance policy. Comprehensive can help you recover damages to your vehicle from a natural disaster.
To get great insurance without paying too much, download the car insurance and broker app
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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