Traveling to a Winter Wonderland? (Travel Safety Guidelines from AZDPS)

Posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 4:13 PM

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S OBLIGATION

Have all of your car’s electronic, electrical and mechanical systems inspected and/or serviced. Existing defects are going to be put through increased stress during long-distance travel and inclement weather.

• Leaky hoses
• Battery (more power is needed to start an engine in cold weather)
• Air conditioner
• Fluids – are they rated for cold weather, topped off (expansion and viscosity)
• Wipers
• Defroster
• Tires are cheap insurance, ensure correct pressure and adequate tread

Prior Proper Planning Before Travel Promotes Safety

• Check weather conditions: weather.gov
• Check for road closures or traffic delays: az511.com or dial 5-1-1
• Select an appropriate route with weather, traffic and terrain in mind
• Always top off your gas tank in case of unanticipated weather or traffic related road closures
• Let someone know where you are going and when you will return

Driving
• Never drive distracted, focus only on your driving and task passengers with helping you identify potential hazards
• Plan to drive at a much slower speed due to icy roads, low visibility and windy conditions; that means plan on a longer trip
• Vehicle handling will change; it will be less stable due to less traction on slippery roadways
• Increase following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
• If you begin to lose control of your vehicle, continue to look in the direction you want to travel and smoothly steer in that direction until your vehicle regains traction
• Do not steer abruptly
• Do not brake abruptly
• Do not decelerate abruptly
• Avoid driving in inclement weather

Critical Supplies In Your Vehicle — Failure to carry these items could lead to critical health consequences.
• One gallon of water per occupant per day
• Food and baby formula sufficient for at least 24-hours
• Prescription medication for at least 24-hours
• Toiletries
• Mobile phone and an extra fully charged power supply
• Cold and wet weather gear

Snow Play Safety
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and DPS want you to understand that highway shoulders are for emergencies, and parking on them to play in the snow is hazardous in several ways:
• Other drivers may be distracted by your vehicle
• Other drivers may pull over as well to play in the snow, compounding the problem
• Your vehicle may interfere with first responders who need to use the shoulder
• Plows can throw snow and ice far off highways and bury your vehicle and injure pedestrians
• It’s much safer to re-enter highways from on-ramps and other designated entrances

For safe and approved snow play areas in northern Arizona click here: Snow Play
For more snow travel safety information click here: ADOT Know Snow