weather conditions

Summer Travel Safety Checklist

Summer Travel Safety Checklist


Summer Travel Safety Checklist

Summer Travel Safety Checklist

By Alexis Potter / ADOT Communications
June 9, 2023
Entrance to Lees Ferry

With temperatures reaching triple digits, it’s extra important to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for travel across the state during the summer months.

Before you hit the road this summer, make sure you bring:

  • Extra drinking water
  • Healthy snacks
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Safety vest and flares
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit and prescriptions
  • Road map (you can print one here)
  • Small tool kit
  • Extra radiator water (especially in hot temperatures)

Good news if you prepared an emergency kit for traveling in winter weather conditions: A summer weather kit contains a lot of the same items. Just swap mittens and warm clothes for an extra pair of light clothes and sun protection — whether it’s sunglasses, sunscreen, an umbrella, or all three.

It can also be a good idea to keep the blanket from your winter kit for kneeling on the hot ground to change a tire. We also suggest taking a small cooler with ice for your water and snacks if you’re headed on a longer trip.

Before embarking on a road trip this summer, it's a good idea to do the following:

  • Fill up your gas tank
  • Check your battery
  • Check tire pressure and treads
  • Check windshield wipers blades
  • Check coolant levels
  • Check engine belts and fluids
  • Secure tow chains
  • Make sure air conditioning works properly
  • Prepare a summer emergency travel kit

It’s better to be over-prepared than in a situation where you’re stranded in the heat or rain with a dead battery or to unintentionally start a wildfire with a hot parked car or exposed rims.

These may seem like common sense, but a reminder for all year round to buckle up, put your phones down and not drive impaired — that includes driving drowsy! Always try to get a good night's sleep before a trip.

Find more road trip safety tips and resources at And, of course, you can always find the latest travel conditions, closures, restrictions, alternate routes and more at or the AZ511 app.


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Strong winds, blowing dust could affect travel today

Strong winds, blowing dust could affect travel today

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Strong winds, blowing dust could affect travel today

Strong winds, blowing dust could affect travel today

April 21, 2021

The Arizona Department of Transportation cautions drivers that strong winds and blowing dust could impact travel today in southern Arizona, including on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.

The National Weather Service has issued wind advisory for large areas of the state, which are in effect from late morning until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Travelers in Maricopa and Pinal Counties may encounter wind gusts between 25 to 35 mph, with localized gusts of 40 to 45 mph. These winds have the potential to kick up blowing dust and create difficult or hazardous driving conditions. 

Drivers are advised to stay alert because strong winds can result in sudden periods of limited or zero visibility due to blowing dust, especially in desert areas. Motorists play an important role in safety when operating their vehicles during a dust storm.

ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommend the following driving tips when encountering a low-visibility dust storm:

  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway — do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can, away from where other vehicles may travel.
  • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane; look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in the vehicle with your seat belts buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
  • Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.
  • Be alert that any storm can cause power outages to overhead roadway lighting and traffic signals.
  • Drive with caution and treat all intersections without signals as having stop signs in all directions.

For more information on what to do if caught in a dust storm, go to Pull Aside Stay Alive.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes. 

Technology, training help ADOT keep roads safe during winter

Technology, training help ADOT keep roads safe during winter

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Technology, training help ADOT keep roads safe during winter

Technology, training help ADOT keep roads safe during winter

November 17, 2020

Winter driving tips

PHOENIX — When snow begins to fall, trained Arizona Department of Transportation snowplow operators will work around the clock to keep the roads safe. Ever-evolving technology incorporated into the snowplows help give the operators a leg up during their 12-hour shifts.

This year, 25 of ADOT’s snowplows have been equipped with new cameras that can stream a live feed back to district offices. These new cameras are another technological innovation to help ADOT be more aware of road conditions along different stretches of highway. They will help decision makers like district engineers and maintenance superintendents be able to see what the plow drivers are seeing.

ADOT districts will be able to see what conditions are like in neighboring districts and make plans to get a jump on snowplow deployment.

Many of ADOT’s nearly 200 snowplows also include auxiliary cab heaters to keep drivers warm while not idling and wasting fuel; heated windshields to prevent wipers from freezing and getting stuck; backup cameras and a camera and laser guidance system to help guide operators; state-of-the-art lighting packages, and front flex plows that can bend in different configurations to remove snow.

ADOT’s 400 snowplow drivers undergo extensive training so they can keep state highways safe. Now that we’re in the season for winter storms to potentially hit, it’s time for you to get to Know Snow by reviewing ADOT’s safety tips at

For starters, slow down when roads are slick with snow and ice, leaving extra room behind the vehicle ahead. Take a fully charged cell phone, warm clothing and an emergency kit that includes blankets, food and water, medication and sand or kitty litter.

Check your vehicle before heading out in winter weather, making sure – at a minimum – that the tires, heater and windshield wipers are in good shape.

Before traveling, research weather conditions to determine whether it would be smarter to sit out a storm so ADOT’s snowplows can clear highways. Check road conditions by calling 511 or visiting ADOT’s Twitter account (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook page ( provide real-time information and interaction. 

While ADOT’s snowplow operators are ready to help you, you should help them in return. Always respect the plow. Avoid passing a snowplow that’s clearing a highway until the driver pulls over to let traffic pass, and never assume a snowplow operator knows your vehicle is nearby. If you can’t see the plow driver, there’s a good chance the driver can’t see you.

Remember: The safest place on a highway when it’s snowing is trailing a safe distance behind a snowplow.

Before traveling, start your winter season with a visit to so you can Know Snow in Arizona.