Arizona is known for its diverse, beautiful landscapes and weather. For this reason, Arizona is a known travel destination year-round. Arizona summers see a particularly high volume of people traveling to different parts of the state to enjoy the beautiful weather. There are several tips and resources to help ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable. Many of the highway incidents across the state can be avoided if drivers will take the proper steps prior to and during their travel.
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, extreme heat and inclement weather.
Here are some things we recommend doing before you travel:
INSPECT VEHICLE AND TIRES
- Check your tires. Your tires should be properly inflated and not worn out. A simple inspection can bring a tire issue to your attention before travel. If you aren’t sure what to look for, most tire shops offer free inspections.
- Did you know your tires have an expiration date? Most vehicle manufacturers recommend tire replacement after six years. Each new tire has a Tire Identification Number (TIN). Learn more about how to read your tires TIN.
- A study conducted by the National Traffic Safety Highway Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about nine percent of the estimated total crashes, were “tire related.”
- Did you know you can increase your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated? U.S. Department of Energy says you can improve your gas mileage up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
- If you sustain tire failure, continue to look in the direction you want to travel and smoothly steer in that direction until you regain control of your vehicle.
- Do not steer, brake or decelerate abruptly.
Inspect FLUIDS AND EQUIPMENT
- Leaky hoses
- Coolant levels
- Engine oil
- Transmission fluid
- Battery (extreme heat is tough on batteries)
- Windshield washer fluid
- Air conditioner
- Fuel gauge
PLAN PROPERLY BEFORE TRAVELING
- Check weather conditions
- 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
- Many new Smart Phone Apps also display traffic conditions (have passengers in your vehicle monitor this)
- Don’t rely solely on GPS or navigation applications, they can lead you to dangerous or non-existent roadways
CRITICAL SUPPLIES IN YOUR VEHICLE
Failure to carry these items could lead to critical health consequenses.
- 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 / diapers
- Mobile phone and an extra fully charged power supply
- Hot/Cold and wet weather gear
- Make sure someone else knows your route of travel
WHAT TO DO IF YOU BREAK DOWN ON A HIGHWAY
- Call 911 and let us law enforcement know where you are stranded
- Call 911 if someone is stopped/stranded on the highway and tell DPS where they are
- Drive completely off of the highway when possible
- Drive to an emergency lane or dirt shoulder when possible
- Do not leave your vehicle on the highway – Call 911 to report
- Do not walk along the highway – Call 911 to report
- Do not stop in the middle of a gore point or gore area
- Do not stop within a traffic lane
- Click here for more information on roadside assistance
Make sure you and your passengers are all properly restrained.