With forecasts of heavy snowfall, ADOT advises to wait before traveling
PHOENIX — With snow affecting Arizona’s high country today through Thursday, the Arizona Department of Transportation is advising drivers to consider delaying all but essential travel before heading north.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high-impact snowstorm up to 4,000 feet high and up to 2 inches per hour Wednesday. Waiting out the storm before moving is the safest and most efficient option because it allows ADOT snowplows to clear highways faster. A freeway takes much longer to clear snow when it is congested with vehicles that should not be traveling on slippery snow and ice.
Check road conditions by calling 511 or visiting az511.gov. ADOT’s Twitter account (@ArizonaDOT) and the Facebook page (facebook.com/AZDOT) provide real-time information and interactions. And the free ADOT Alerts app available at azdot.gov/ADOTAlerts will send critical information, including alternate routes, if snow and ice close a major highway.
As part of ADOT’s partnership with the National Weather Service, the agency will post the high-impact storm’s red graphic on its social media accounts to help drivers make informed decisions about their trips. During a high-impact snowstorm, drivers should avoid moving if possible. If the delay is not possible, strongly consider using a 4×4 or snow chains and be prepared to spend a lot of time in the vehicle.
Weather and road conditions can change quickly during a winter storm, so if it’s not possible to delay travel, go prepared expecting to spend more time on the road. Remember to slow down, leave extra space behind the vehicle in front of you, and pack an emergency kit containing a fully charged cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, and water , medicine, and sand or kitty litter in case you get stuck in the snow. .
Also important to remember if you must travel is to respect the plow. Although ADOT’s snow plow operators are ready to help you clear the highways, you should help them in return.
Avoid passing a snowplow 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, chances are the driver can’t see you.
Remember: the safest place on a highway when it’s snowing is a safe distance – about four car lengths – behind a snowplow.
Visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow for more winter driving tips.