Desert Driving Tips for Traveling in Surprise

driving in a haboob

Driving in the desert can be a beautiful and exciting experience, with drivers usually encountering only mild weather and, during certain times of the year, comfortable temperatures. The desert presents itself with a few unique problems, however, from dust storms and heavy rains to extreme heat and hot roadways. To help you navigate some of the more hazardous areas of desert driving, we’ve put together a few driving tips below.

1) Make sure your AC is in perfect working order. During the summer months, Arizona highways become exceptionally hot, meaning that your air conditioner is going to get quite a workout. During the early spring, we recommend bringing your car into your local Surprise service center to get your air conditioner checked to make sure it’s working properly.

2) Keep an eye out for “bleeding tar.” As we said above, highways in the desert can get very hot during the summer months, so hot in fact, that it can begin to liquefy some of the road’s pavement. When this happens, the highway can become littered with slippery patches, which can be very dangerous if you are driving over them at high speeds. This is why we suggest maintaining a safe speed and not braking or steering sharply should you drive over one.

3) Pull over in a dust storm. Haboobs are a unique desert experience, and a very scary one. They come up very fast with winds that can reach up to 60 mph at times. To stay safe during such extreme weather, experts say that you should pull off to the side of the road as far as you can, turn off your engine and your lights, and simply wait it out with your seatbelt fastened.

4) Be careful during “monsoon season.” Another anomaly of the desert is what locals call “monsoon season.” This is a time period in the southern half of Arizona, where heavy rainfall is very common. This level of rainfall can be very dangerous, causing slick highways and even flash flooding that can be very hazardous. During this time, pay attention to the local weather, and don’t travel if officials tell you not too. If you get caught out in the middle of a monsoon, simply pull over as soon as you can and wait it out.

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