ADOT reminds drivers to ‘Know Snow’ before heading north

Contributed Photo/Courtesy ADOT

Wait out storms before traveling, don’t park along highways to play

Contributed Article/Courtesy ADOT

PHOENIX – With snow falling in Arizona’s high country and more snow in the forecast, the Arizona Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to be prepared before heading up north to play in the snow. 

One of the best things drivers can do is check weather and road conditions before leaving. Waiting out a storm before traveling is the safest and most efficient option because it allows ADOT’s snowplows to clear the highways more quickly. A highway takes much longer to plow when it’s jammed with vehicles that shouldn’t be traveling on a roadway that’s slick with snow and ice.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Snow-covered Mount Graham often offers enough to go sledding.

If you’re heading north to play in the snow, remember to use designated parking areas and never stop along highways to play in the snow. Highway shoulders are for emergencies, and stopping there can put you, your passengers, and other drivers at risk. First responders often need to use highway shoulders, and a snowplow can hurl snow and ice far off the highway. 

Research where you plan to play in the snow and what designated parking is available there. If your destination is the Flagstaff area, the Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau lists snow-play locations at (follow the Winter Recreation Map link) and offers a hotline at 844.256.SNOW.

Also remember to expect plenty of company, especially during the weekend, and pack patience as lots of folks from the Phoenix area travel north to play in the snow. Expect to spend extended time in your vehicle getting to and from snow play areas.

Other safety tips that ADOT offers at include slowing down, leaving extra room behind the vehicle ahead, having a fully charged cell phone, taking along warm clothing, blankets, food, and water, and packing an emergency kit. 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.