Drivers should plan for wet and sometimes icy highways across Arizona this week as another storm system brings rain and snow to the state.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) recommends drivers stay up to date on weather conditions and prepare to slow down on slick roads. Motorists also should avoid traveling in winter weather conditions.
The National Weather Service says flooding is possible in washes and other lower lying areas. Drivers should not try to cross areas with running or standing water.
Safer conditions will exist in upper-elevation areas once ADOT’s snowplow operators have time to clear snow and ice from highways. Here are winter and wet weather safe driving tips:
Slow down and leave extra room: Adjust your speed to conditions. Slowing down and leaving space between your vehicle and vehicles ahead of you on icy or wet roads can prevent crashes or keep your vehicle from skidding when conditions are slippery.
Stay up to date on weather and highway conditions: In addition to following National Weather Service forecasts (which can be found at weather.gov/fgz/WinterWeather), drivers can visit ADOT’s Traveler Information site at az511.gov, download the AZ511 app or call 511 for highway conditions.
Expect the unexpected: Stay alert for changing highway conditions, including storm debris and mud or rocks from slopes above highways. Do not enter or try to cross flooded areas. It is safer to wait for assistance from law enforcement or other emergency responders.
Leave prepared: Dress for cold weather if traveling into the high country. Bring extra clothes and gloves as part of an emergency prep kit in case you need to stop along a highway. Be sure your phone is charged and pack extra drinking water, food and prescription medications (in case you encounter delays).
Other items for an emergency kit: Blankets, flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, container with sand or kitty litter for tire traction if your vehicle is stuck in icy conditions. ADOT has a complete list of items at azdot.gov/KnowSnow (look for “Must haves for every vehicle”).
Drivers also can look for messages on ADOT’s statewide network of electronic signs. ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook page (facebook.com/AZDOT) also provide information and answers about highway conditions.
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