What you need to know about driving during monsoon season

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If you see a storm coming, drivers are told to wait it out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) If you see a storm coming, drivers are told to wait it out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Billowing and tall, blowing dust can reduce a driver's visibility to nothing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Billowing and tall, blowing dust can reduce a driver's visibility to nothing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
After the dust, then comes the driving rain. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) After the dust, then comes the driving rain. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"I will tell you, in rain, if your steering wheel is slipping a little bit, you're going too fast," said Raul Garcia. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "I will tell you, in rain, if your steering wheel is slipping a little bit, you're going too fast," said Raul Garcia. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Two days in a row, monsoon storms struck the Valley right in the middle of rush hour. 

The storms packed a punch, bringing 70 mile-per-hour winds on Monday and dropping a combined 3/4 inch of rain on Sky Harbor Airport. 

[READ MORE: Monsoon rolls through Phoenix metro area with dust, hard rain, hail]

"It was significant. We haven't seen that for awhile," said Raul Garcia, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. 

All that wind and rain kept DPS troopers busy. They're sharing some tips to help keep you safe this monsoon season.

Garcia says, during monsoon season, remember to check the weather first before you leave. If you see a storm coming, he advises drivers to wait it out. Monsoon storms typically pass quickly. 

[RELATED: People all over Phoenix area clean up after strong monsoon storm]

"Just give yourself some time, spend some more time in the grocery store, get something to drink, a coffee, a cold drink, stay at work a little longer, stay at home before you go out," he said. 

[RELATED: Drivers beware: ADOT warns motorists about summer dust storms]

But if you do find yourself on the road, you'll likely see a dust cloud first. Billowing and tall, it can reduce a driver's visibility to nothing. 

[RELATED: Dust storm triggers weather warning south of Phoenix, pockets of heavy rains fire up]

"We absolutely want you to avoid driving into a dust storm," said Garcia. "If it's unavoidable because they don't have any exits, pull all the way to the right, whether that's a dirt shoulder or an emergency lane." 

He advises drivers to put their cars in park, keep their seat belts on while taking their foot off the brake and turning all lights off. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Monsoon 2018]

After the dust, then comes the driving rain. The best thing to do here is just slow down. 

"I will tell you, in rain, if your steering wheel is slipping a little bit, you're going too fast," said Garcia. 

[RELATED: Woman rescued after car crashes into canal in Mesa]

[SLIDESHOW: Massive monsoon storm on Monday, July 9, 2018]

The No. 1 mistake drivers make, according to Garcia, is "impatience, and that translates into their speed and a lack of courtesy and regard for others." 

"We certainly don't want to conduct a next-of-kin notification at your home. We don't want to investigate a serious injury collision or a fatal. Just take your time," he added.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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