Windy weather brings potential I-10 dust storm danger - Tucson News Now

Windy weather brings potential I-10 dust storm danger

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The winds are increasing and so is the potential for dust storm dangers on Interstate 10.

A stretch of the highway, just north of Picacho Peak was the scene of a crash involving 21 vehicles in October of last year when a blinding dust storm hit the roadway.

It left three people dead.

The Arizona Department of Transportation, this month, has expanded it's "Pull Aside-Stay Alive" dust storm educational campaign to cover the entire year.

The program was started in order to educate people about the dangers of dust storms on the road during the summer monsoon.

We're told experts have studied the issue of dust storms on the interstate and how to lower the danger.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Captain Brian Preston says they saw one video after another of people driving into clouds of dust when the drivers really should have pulled over long before that.

"The real key is to look down the roadway and if you see it coming across, if you see it approaching the roadway, that's the time to stop. That's the time to stop and you're going to be able to do that if you increase your following distance and look ahead," Preston says.

The dust can reduce visibility to nothing. 

Preston says drivers should be able to see the dust coming, especially since the storms happen mostly during daylight hours.

If you should find yourself in the middle of a dust storm, the experts say you should pull off the road as far as possible.

Turn off your lights.

Take your foot off the brake.

Make yourself invisible so no one sees your tail lights, thinks that's the road, and crashes into you.

Keep your seatbelt on.

Wait it out.

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