Wildfire season is here: tips for driving in reduced visibility

Late last week a travel alert went out to warn drivers of some heavy smoke present near SR 69 due to the Gladiator Fire burning near Crown King.

ADOT advised drivers to slow down and remain alert in the area because the smoke was, at the time, reducing visibility. As of this morning, fire crews are continuing to battle the blaze (along with a few others around the state) and are making progress.

Unfortunately, it seems wildfire season is already here…

We thought now would be a good time to share some tips for safely driving (and pulling over) in areas with reduced visibility. Maybe you’ve heard them before, but they’re worth reviewing and remembering:

  • Check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • Do not stop in the travel lane unless the vehicle traffic in front of you has come to a stop.
  • Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and not near where any vehicles may travel.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in your vehicle and keep your seat belts on.
  • Wait for the visibility to improve before re-entering the roadway.

One more thing … you always can stay up-to-date on the latest highway conditions (fire-related or otherwise) around the state by visiting az511.gov or by calling 511.