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Flooded Roads After Monsoon Rains

Monsoon Weather Driving Tips

Flooded Roads After Monsoon Rains

Unlike parts of the nation that constantly receive rain, Arizona’s Monsoon Season storms provide more rain than the ground can deal with, causing flooding and slick road conditions.


This may be one of the rainiest monsoon seasons Flagstaff has seen in almost a hundred years. The record was in July 1919 when 7.58 inches of rain fell in Flagstaff. At this time, approximately 7 inches of rain has fallen in Flagstaff causing flooding, run offs and dangerous road conditions. When it rains in Flagstaff it pours, sometimes more than 2 inches in several hours making for low visibility and slick roads.

The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier would like to reiterate the following rainy road driving tips, from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, so everyone can get home safely.[i]

  • First and foremost SLOW DOWN. The posted speed limit may not be a safe speed to travel in bad weather. On wet roads your vehicle will have less traction than on a dry road. Slower travel speeds allow for safer braking and stopping distances.
  • Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you and be aware of the vehicles around you in other travel lanes. Braking and shorter stopping distances will be affected by wet roads and slippery roadway surfaces.
  • Watch carefully for water pooling on the roadway surface as this could cause your vehicle to slide or hydroplane.
  • Do not enter an area where the roadway has been closed by barricades due to flooding. You don’t know how deep the water is or how fast it is running. Besides, it is against the law and very dangerous to drive into a flooded area!
  • Drive with your headlights on. This increases your visibility to other vehicles.
  • At night, slow down and pay close attention to changing road and weather conditions.
  • Strong winds can be associated with a monsoon storm. Watch for blowing dust and if at all possible, avoid driving into a dust storm.
  • If you cannot avoid the dust storm drive with your headlights on and slow down. Do not stop on the roadway or on the emergency shoulder area. Pull completely off the roadway surface, stop, and turn off all vehicle lights and take your foot off of the brake.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Ensure your head and tail lamps along with your turn signals are working properly. Replace worn out tires for better traction and maintain proper tire air pressure, replace worn out windshield wiper blades, keep windshield washer fluid topped off, and see that the brakes are in good condition.
  • Be prepared for unforeseen delays, such as flooded roads, construction or other traffic delays. Carry extra food and water in your vehicle.
  • If you suffer a mechanical breakdown or tire failure, remain calm, slow down, keep the steering wheel straight, and drive the vehicle to a safe area as far from traffic as possible.
  • ALWAYS wear your safety restraints.
  • Be patient and courteous. Remember other motorists are facing the same weather conditions as you.

If you or a loved one is injured, or if a loved one has died as a result of an accident, call or email the attorneys at the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier for a free consultation. All injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so we don’t get paid, unless we collect money for you. We handle cases over all of Arizona, including Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Sedona, Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Prescott and Phoenix. Call us at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, email us attony@triallawyersaz.com. You may visit our website at www.triallawyersaz.com andwww.triallawyersaz.com.

Remember this article is not a substitute to speaking with an experienced attorney. If you have questions about you or a loved one’s rights, contact us at 928-774-5400.

SUV Driving on Wet Roads During Heavy Rain

Arizona’s Stupid Driver Law

SUV Driving on Wet Roads During Heavy Rain

Monsoon season in Arizona brings a great deal of rainfall, which causes flash flooding and flooded roadways. We’d like to remind drivers to be careful and not try to cross a road that looks impassable.


It might be true that the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains but during monsoon season the rain is everywhere in Flagstaff. Monsoons can cause severe and dangerous driving conditions from limited visions, slippery roads, road hazards, and flooded roads. Further, in Arizona if you try to cross a flooded road and need to be rescued, you could be charged under the Arizona’s “stupid motorist law.”

The Arizona Daily Sun reported that the Flagstaff Fire Department rescued two people who tried to cross a flooded road. The car was unable to forge the three feet of water and stalled out.[i] The driver and occupants were rescued and no injuries were reported. The driver could be charged under A.R.S § 28-910, which states:

A. A driver of a vehicle who drives the vehicle on a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, and that is barricaded because of flooding is liable for the expenses of any emergency response that is required to remove from the public street or highway the driver or any passenger in the vehicle that becomes inoperable on the public street or highway or the vehicle that becomes inoperable on the public street or highway, or both.

B. A person convicted of violating section 28-693 for driving a vehicle into any area that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, may be liable for expenses of any emergency response that is required to remove from the area the driver or any passenger in the vehicle that becomes inoperable in the area or the vehicle that becomes inoperable in the area, or both.

C. The expenses of an emergency response are a charge against the person liable for those expenses pursuant to subsection A or B of this section. The charge constitutes a debt of that person and may be collected proportionately by the public agencies, for-profit entities or not-for-profit entities that incurred the expenses. The person’s liability for the expenses of an emergency response shall not exceed two thousand dollars for a single incident. The liability imposed under this section is in addition to and not in limitation of any other liability that may be imposed.

If you are found guilty of violating Arizona’s stupid motorist law you could be liable for all cost incurred in your rescue. During storm season, if you see a barricaded road, a sign that says, “Do not cross when flooded”, or a flooded road, take it seriously and find another way around. If you are stuck trying to cross a flooded road you risk getting a fine but also your life.

The Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier is committed to insuring the safety of all Flagstaff drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident call us at 928-774-5400 or visit our website at www.triallawyersaz.com because we are a plaintiff’s law firm serving Flagstaff and all of Northern Arizona. This article is not a substitute to speaking with an experienced attorney about your case and rights. Call us at 928-774-5400 and ask for a free initial consultation.

Photo credit: Neil. Moralee / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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