Many Phoenicians head to Sedona, Flagstaff or one of Arizona’s many other beautiful northern cities during the winter in Arizona. Winter weather can cause dangerous road conditions, especially for those not used to driving in snow.
We’ve gathered top tips to keep you as safe as possible when driving on snowy, wet roads during winter in Arizona.
- Stay Up-To-Date on Road Conditions. Check az511.gov or follow ADOT’s Twitter account for current road conditions and road closures. These sources will give you in-the-moment information on accidents, snowy weather and whether or not you should be driving with special equipment like tire chains.
- Be Prepared. Keep an emergency kit in your car including a flashlight, snacks, blankets, extra clothes, a phone charger and water. You should also keep snow chains in your car if there is the possibility of heavy snow. If you get stuck or stranded, you’ll want to make sure you have what you need until help can arrive.
- Give Snowplows Room. You may consider putting off driving while snow is falling so snow plows can do their work. Snow plows are there to make the road safe for everyone. If you are already driving when snow begins to fall and you encounter a snow plow, stay at least 4 car lengths behind them, and do not attempt to pass. Let them finish clearing the road before you attempt to drive on that road.
- Get a Tune Up. Prepare your car for freezing weather during winter in Arizona. Make sure your tires are filled, your oil is changed and your fluids are at the proper levels. Tell your mechanic that you are driving to freezing temperatures and they can perform all of the necessary checks.
- Fill Up Your Gas Tank. Make sure your fuel tank is full before you drive in snowy conditions. Try to keep it at least 3 quarters of the way full throughout your trip. Running out of gas can be especially dangerous in winter weather.
- Plan Your Trip in Advance. Make sure you know your route before you hit the road. Plan alternate routes in case there are road closures due to weather or accidents. It is also wise to share your route and estimated time of arrival with someone in case of an emergency.
- Slow Down. Like in all inclement weather, it is safer to slow down and leave extra space between you and the cars in front of you. Tires can lose traction when driving on wet or snowy roads, so the extra space allows for a longer reaction time.
Wherever you are headed this winter, make sure you prepare for your road trip, and stay safe and aware.