There is a surprising number of car accidents caused by unknown road conditions.
And in Arizona, the climates are ever-changing in different areas, meaning the road conditions can be quite unpredictable.
To help you out, we’re going to give you some safe driving tips for the different Arizona road conditions. This way, no matter the condition you face, you’ll be ready for it.
So let’s begin!
How to Safely Navigate Arizona Road Conditions
We’re going to teach you how to safely navigate various Arizona road conditions. We’ve subdivided our list into seven (7) categories, each covering a road condition in the state.
- Safe Driving Tips for Sun Glare
- Safe Driving Tips for Strong Wind
- Safe Driving Tips for Dust Storms
- Safe Driving Tips in the Rain
- Safe Driving Tips in the Fog
- Safe Driving Tips in Snow and Ice
- Safe Driving Tips at Night
Let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty!
Safe Driving Tips for Sun Glare
Driving on a beautiful sunny day in Arizona is a great scenic experience. However, if the driver’s vision is compromised by the glaring sunlight, the results can be disastrous.
The following tips should help keep you safe while under the glaring sun:
- Consider buying polarized sunglasses. These can help reduce sun glare, as well as keep your eyes protected from harmful UV rays.
- Use your car sun visor to block out most of the sunlight.
- If the sunlight is coming from behind you, the glare will be on the drivers following your vehicle. Make sure to leave enough following room between you and other vehicles to avoid accidents.
- Make sure your windshield is clean before pulling out of the driveway. You don’t want the sun plus dirt obscuring your vision.
- Avoid placing items that could reflect the sun’s glare (e.g., papers, wallets, and phones) on the dashboard.
- Use the lane markings to guide you toward the right path if the sun’s glare prevents you from seeing the road clearly.
Safe Driving Tips for Strong Winds
Arizona is one of the many states where you can expect high winds. This adds an element of resistance while driving, making it harder to control vehicles.
If you go through strong winds, here are some safety tips to follow:
- Slow down to get more control of your vehicle
- Be wary of open areas where you could be caught in a crosswind. This can push your vehicle to the side or middle of the road. Always be ready to make steering corrections when necessary.
- Always keep a safe distance between you and other drivers, especially high-profile vehicles e.g., trucks, vans, buses, vehicles that are towing cargo, and trailers.
Safe Driving Tips for Dust Storms
It’s not uncommon for Arizona to have a dust storm or two. During these moments, drivers will have very little to zero visibility.
For your safety, find a space where you can pull aside as soon as you notice a dust storm is forming. It’s better to wait for it to pass than risk driving and getting into an accident.
And, always remind yourself to do the following:
- Stop as far to the right as possible. Avoid emergency lanes or travel lanes where other cars might speed through.
- Buckle your seatbelts and stay in the vehicle at all costs.
- Wait until the storm has cleared before attempting to restart your car.
Safe Driving Tips in the Rain
Driving in the rain can cause all types of challenges for drivers who aren’t used to it. Taking extra precautions on the road can keep you and your passengers safe.
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:
- If visibility is less than 1,000 feet, make sure to turn your headlights on to counter this effect.
- Driving on wet asphalt can make stopping and braking much harder. To avoid accidents, make sure to increase the distance between the vehicles around you.
- Remind yourself not to panic if your tires start hydroplaning. Don’t slam on the breaks to force your vehicle to a stop. Instead, slowly let go of the accelerator and try to keep your steering wheel straight.
Safe Driving Tips in the Fog
The safest way to deal with fog while driving is to pull aside and wait for it to clear out. However, if that’s not possible, make sure to do the following:
- Drive slowly
- Open your windows so you can hear oncoming vehicles
- Prepare to perform defensive driving maneuvers
- Turn off cruise control to maximize the control of your vehicle
- Increase the distance between other cars
- Keep your eyes peeled for animals on the road
- Use your windshield wiper and defroster to remove excess moisture from your windshield
- Turn on your fog headlights, if you have any
Safe Driving Tips in Snow and Ice
Some areas of Arizona can experience heavy snowfall and frost in the winter. When this happens, practicing the following precautions keeps you and your loved ones safe on the road:
- Drive slowly and with caution
- Avoid abrupt changes in your speed and direction
- Use your wipers to clean snow off your windshield
- Make sure your lights are fully-functional and not covered in snow
- Remember to switch out your normal tires with snow tires for better traction
- Check weather updates to stay informed of changing road conditions.
If snowfall is particularly strong in your area, driving out might not be a great idea. When in doubt, stay home and reschedule all your plans for another day.
Safe Driving Tips at Night
Drivers can encounter all sorts of challenges when driving at night e.g., drowsy driving, night blindness, and poor visibility.
When the sun goes down, the following tips can help you stay safe on the road:
- Keep your headlights on while driving. Make sure that they’re in good working condition before heading out.
- Avoid looking directly into approaching headlights. This can temporarily blind you, increasing your risk of getting into accidents.
- If you’re feeling particularly sleepy, don’t continue your journey. Stop by the road or find a safe place to spend the night.
To keep yourself updated with Arizona road conditions in different areas, you should download the AZ 51 app. Here, you simply have to type in your route and the app will tell you everything you need to know about the road conditions in that area.
With this, you know what to expect when you get there.
Yes, driving can be dangerous, especially if you’re not aware of the road conditions ahead of you.
This is why practicing precaution and preparing yourself for possible road challenges is key to keeping yourself and your passengers away from harm.
So the next time you go out there and face any of these common Arizona climates, make sure you follow the safety tips.