With heavy snow forecast, ADOT advises waiting before traveling

Contributed Photo/Courtesy ADOT

Give snowplows time to clear roads of snow and ice

Contributed Article/Courtesy ADOT

PHOENIX – With a pair of storms moving through Arizona’s high country this weekend and early next week, the Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to consider delaying all but essential travel before heading north.

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 crowded with vehicles that shouldn’t be traveling on a roadway that’s slick with snow and ice. 

Check road conditions by calling 511 or visiting az511.gov. ADOT’s Twitter account (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook page (facebook.com/AZDOT) provide real-time information and interaction. And the free ADOT Alerts app available at azdot.gov/ADOTAlerts will send critical information, including alternate routes, should snow and ice close a major highway.

If delaying travel is not possible, leave prepared with the expectation of spending extended time on the road. Remember to slow down, leave extra room behind the vehicle ahead of you, and pack an emergency kit containing a fully charged cell phone, warm clothing, blankets, food and water, medications, and sand or kitty litter in case you get stuck in the snow.

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.

Visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow for more winter driving tips.