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Road Trip: Arizona and Vicious Dust Storms

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We continued the Latino Heritage Roadtrip towards Arizona as soon as we finished our trip to San Diego Old Town & Old Point Loma Light House. It was a very long day on the road, approximately 409 miles. Not many scenic stops, routes or historical sites on our trip towards Scottsdale, Arizona. However, the landscape was beautiful.

After a short nap, I woke up and noticed gloom in the sky and a very dark cloud in the horizon. I asked my husband what that was — it looks like a huge cloud of rain. However, at that exact moment, I noticed it was far away from us. It looked like we were going in the opposite direction of the huge dark cloud. However, within a couple of minutes, it looked like we were headed straight into it.

Driving in a storm can be very risky, especially for people who are new to driving and still in the learning phase. So, before planning to travel on the road during a storm, ensure that you have your driving license. If by any chance you are facing issues like driving test cancellations, contact a professional agency that can help you book a slot for the test and get the licenses as soon as possible. Also, stop at a gas station, restaurant, or empty parking lot if you end up getting stuck in a storm while traveling by car.

Dust storms are vicious, and to continue to drive in this kind of storm if you don’t have the proper vehicle and equipment is to put people in danger. It increases the risk not only to you and your fellow passengers but also to others who might be foolish enough to be driving at the same time. It is more than likely that you might end up in a car wreck, and would need a really good personal injury lawyer to get you any sort of justice. But car wrecks are the least of your problems, accidents in storms like these could cause more catastrophic injuries or even somebody’s death. So it would be wise to err on the side of caution in a circumstance such as this one.


The dust storm we were in was incredibly strong and the winds were powerful. There were moments when we had zero visibility, but we got us through it safely, in part because of the vehicle we were driving, GMC Terrain. We felt very safe in the crossover. It also helped that the car was in good condition. Often, dust storms like these can break down a car. Dirt and stones that get into the pipes and engine could do significant damage. Therefore, whenever you embark on a trip like this one, it’s wise to get your car checked out beforehand by a mechanic in Edmonton or wherever it is you live. After all, when you’re on the road with nothing for miles, stuck in a dust storm, your car is the only layer of safety you’ve got.


According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, here are the steps to safely handle dust storms:

  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm
  • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway -do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane; look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from where other vehicles may travel.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
  • Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.
  • A driver’s alertness and safe driving ability is still the number one factor to prevent crashes.
  • Keep the number of a car accident lawyer (from companies like The Dominguez Firm–they tend to offer the services of a car accident lawyer in Riverside) and an urgent care provider handy for emergency situations.

The Latino Heritage Roadtrip aims to document the his tory of the nation through four regional road trips span ning thou sands of miles in the north east, south east, south west and mid west. The American Latino Fund celebrates the contributions of American Latinos throughout the national park and historic places across the country. Check to learn more about the programs and Support the American Latino Heritage Fund.

Please join me and my fellow road trip colleagues as we go on an adventure of a lifetime. For live tweets, please follow the conversation on Twitter by checking the #LatinoHeritage hashtag. Please check back later for additional photos.

The vehi cle being dri ven on this road trip is pro vided by Gen eral Motors. Please fol low @GM_diversity on Twitter.

Question: Have you ever encountered severe weather conditions on a roadtrip? How did you handle it? What additional tips would you provide for handling severe weather?

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