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Don’t overestimate driving abilities as storms approach

Prepare for the unexpected; consider delaying travel
February 04, 2019

PHOENIX – With snow and rain storms forecast across the state late tonight, it’s important to delay travel if possible, or prepare to spend extra time on the road.

Arizona Department of Transportation crews are ready to plow the roads and help keep them clear, but it can still be hazardous to drive in a storm where visibility and road surface conditions can change quickly.

Before deciding whether and when to travel, check weather reports and get the latest highway conditions by visiting ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, calling 511 or reviewing ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT). When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

If delaying travel isn’t possible, expect the unexpected by packing an emergency kit, including extra blankets, warm clothes, food and water, a fully-charged cellphone, and a first-aid kit in case you experience an extended highway closure.

Here are some other tips for this week’s unsettled weather:

  • Inspect windshield wipers and replace them if necessary; keep your gas tank at least three-quarters full.
  • Drive for conditions – slower speed, slower acceleration – and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Don’t risk crossing a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep, and don’t drive around “Road Closed” signs. Even a few inches of running water poses a serious risk.
  • Never pass a snowplow. Always stay at least four vehicle lengths back as plowed snow can create a cloud that reduces visibility. If you can’t see the snowplow driver, there’s a good chance he can’t see you.

Get more winter-driving tips at azdot.gov/KnowSnow.

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