The Arizona Department of Transportation today issued a warning to motorists that high winds could make driving difficult, if not dangerous, throughout the day. Wind gusts are expected to reach 55 MPH or more. The winds started picking up around 8am this morning and the National Weather Service says they will continue until after 11pm tonight.

If you have lived in Arizona all your life you might be accustomed to high winds and fully understand just how much they can buffet your vehicle, even going as far as pushing your vehicle right off the road or tipping it. These high winds can also decrease visibility as they tend to kick-up a great deal of dust and dirt. This too makes driving dangerous as we all know how important it is to see where we are going when we get behind the wheel.

If you haven’t lived in Arizona, and haven’t experienced these winds yourself you might wonder what the big deal is. What difference could a little make to a big 3,000 pound vehicle? Plenty.

With a gust of wind blowing at 55 mph, and most cars going as fast or faster than this, the resulting force is strong enough to move your vehicle around like a toy. Ignoring these warnings could be detrimental to your health and your safe driving record.

A wind advisory form the National Weather Service said the state will be buffeted with high winds from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Gusts are expected to reach speeds of 55 mph.

The roads most likely to be affected are Interstates 10 and 40, especially in the northern and southern portions of Arizona.

Drivers experiencing high-wind conditions are asked to pull over if dust begins to blow. Those drivers should pull completely off the roadway and turn of their lights.