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Quartzsite, Arizona

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ADOT Summer Travel Driving Tips

ADOT offers Memorial Day weekend and
summer travel driving tips

PHOENIX – As many Arizonans look ahead to Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer travel season, the Arizona Department of Transportation is urging drivers to plan ahead and follow important safety tips.

As summer temperatures soar each year, drivers should make sure they’ve had their vehicle’s condition checked before they head out on a trip. Weather conditions can change and monsoon storms can arrive suddenly, creating dust-filled winds and cutting visibility along the highway up ahead.

Allowing extra travel time is a good idea, too. Unscheduled closures due to crashes or other incidents, including wildfires, can affect highway travel. Existing work zones for highway improvement projects, even when work is not taking place over holiday weekends, can add time spent on the road.

A couple of existing highway work zones to be aware of – especially at the start and end of the Memorial Day weekend – are located along Interstate 10 at the Hassayampa River bridges 40 miles west of downtown Phoenix and at the Interstate 17 bridges at Munds Park 20 miles south of Flagstaff. The highways are narrowed to one lane in each direction at those locations.

ADOT reminds motorists to drive with caution and offers the following summer driving tips:

•Check your vehicle (Examples: check tire condition and pressure, oil and other fluid levels and inspect belts and hoses)
•Expect the unexpected when out on the road – pay attention. And buckle up
•Get plenty of rest before traveling and take regular rest breaks
•Be patient and alert to changing road conditions
•Plan your travel route and check alternate routes. Have a map
•If your vehicle breaks down or you need to change a flat tire, pull completely off the roadway. Please be cautious in areas with taller grass or brush – hot vehicle components can spark a fire.
•Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even prescription drugs can limit your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle)
•Cell phones or satellite devices help in an emergency – make sure they are fully charged
•Obey the posted speed limit, check for changing speed limit conditions
•Signal in advance for lane changes and turning maneuvers
•Take plenty of food and water
•Slow down in areas known for high winds and dust storms and be prepared to exit the roadway if extreme weather conditions occur

Before heading out on the road, drivers are encouraged to call 5-1-1 or log on to ADOT’s Traveler Information site at to check on updated highway conditions around the state. You also can get additional ADOT updates via Twitter at or Facebook at


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