I think driving in Phoenix is easier than anywhere else I have lived. The roads are well-maintained, the streets are laid out fairly easily, the sun shines 85% of the time, it doesn’t rain very much, and it never snows…well, almost never. It snowed on February 20, 2013. The good news is that it melted fairly quickly. You can sell your snow shovel, or give it to you neighbor. Below are 10 tips that will help keep you safe and happy while driving in the Valley of the Sun:
1) Put a Sun Visor in Your Window. This will help to keep you cooler when you return to your car, and will help to prevent your dashboard from cracking.
2) Place a towel over your steering wheel. If you don’t, you’ll be driving with two fingers on the wheel until your car cools off inside. You may also want to keep an extra towel in the car to place on the seat. It will keep you from burning your butt when you sit down.
3) Leave Your Pets at Home. If the temperature outside is 78 degrees, the temperature inside your car parked in the shade can hit 90 degrees and parked in the sun can reach a scorching 160 degrees, according to PAW (Partnership for Animal Welfare). Even with your windows rolled down, it can still be too hot inside your car for your pets. Leave you pets at home. They’ll be happier there anyway.
4) Don’t Forget Your Children. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it happens. As a matter of fact, according to ggweather.com, there were 30 deaths due to children being left in a vehicle in the U.S. in 2014. This is 30 deaths too many.
5) Wear Sunglasses. Along with sunny days 85% of the time comes lots of glare. This makes it more difficult to see clearly, so wear your sunglasses. It may help to prevent an accident.
6) Call 5-1-1. This is a great free service that’s offered by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). When you call the number you will be able to hear information about the weather, road conditions, tourism, public transit services, and more.
7) Drive Carefully During Monsoon Season. The monsoon season in Phoenix starts on June 15th and ends on September 30th. During this time the Phoenix area experiences often unexpected high winds, heavy rain, and blowing dust. If you’ve seen the movie, Raiders of the Lost Arc, you will have a good idea of what one of these storms look like. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), drivers should follow these Monsoon driving safety tips: 1) Expect the unexpected. Have extra supplies like a fully charged cell phone, drinking water, and an emergency kit. 2) When in doubt, wait it out. 3) When faced with low or zero visibility conditions, pull your vehicle off the road as far as far to the right as possible. Turn off your lights (including hazard lights), set the parking break, and take your foot off the brake pedal. 4) Don’t risk crossing a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep. 5) Do not drive around “Road Closed” signs. 6) If traffic lights are out, treat an intersection just like a four-way stop. Tip: Arizona does have a Stupid Motorist Law. 7) Stay alert in areas prone to falling rocks.
8) Wear Your Seatbelt. It’s the law. You will see signs around the Valley that read: “Click it, or ticket.” And they mean it, too.
9) Be Careful When Texting or Talking on the Phone. Better yet. Don’t drive while texting or talking on the phone. As of this writing, it’s still legal to drive a motor vehicle while texting or talking on the phone, unless you’re a bus driver. Just be careful. And check out the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) site to make sure that’s still true if you’re reading this later than the date when this was published.
10) Don’t Drive Under the Influence. Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Don’t do it!
So there you have it. 10 tips to help make driving in Phoenix a little safer. We could have written 100, but then you wouldn’t have read our article. For more tips on driving laws in Arizona, go to azdot.gov. We’ll see you on the road!