I-17 101 traffic interchange

When traveling this holiday season, save the phone for rest areas

When traveling this holiday season, save the phone for rest areas

December 14, 2021

PHOENIX – With many traveling to see family and friends this holiday season, plus the potential for snow up north attracting day-trippers, the Arizona Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers not to drive distracted.

If you’re traveling alone, drivers are urged to use phones to call or text at one of the state’s 15 rest areas. Once in a rest area, you can safely devote your attention to your device to make a call or send or respond to texts.

“Distracted driving is dangerous. We’ve all seen stories where tragedy strikes because a driver glanced at a text,” said State Engineer Dallas Hammit. “Paying attention when you are driving will help everyone get safely home this holiday season.”

In 2020 in Arizona, more than 8,000 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. But the real number is much higher because traffic safety stakeholders say many drivers don’t admit to being distracted or died in the crash.

The use of hand-held mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, while driving is banned in Arizona. On all Arizona roadways, it is illegal for drivers to talk or text on a device that isn’t engaged in hands-free mode.

To get more resources about distracted driving and see ADOT’s Emmy Award-winning distracted driving campaign, visit azdot.gov/terrify.