Driving safety tips and resources from the Arizona Department of Transportation at FocusOnDriving.com keep motorists prepared on Arizona’s roads.

Know Snow

Think it doesn't snow in Arizona? Think again! 

It's not uncommon for winter storms to drop a foot or two -- or more -- of snow overnight on Arizona's high country. In fact, ADOT has a fleet of more than 200 snowplows across the state and more than 400 trained snowplow operators prepared to clear highways during the winter.

Never passing a snowplow and always giving snowplow operators plenty of room to safely do their jobs are among the following key safety recommendations for drivers to observe:

  • Slow Down – drive according to road conditions, including operating at slower speeds and avoiding sudden acceleration on snow and ice.
  • Leave Extra Room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. 
  • Give Snowplows Space – slow down and stay at least four vehicle lengths behind a plow.
  • Be Prepared – bring extra clothes and gloves, maintain at least a three-quarter-full tank of gas, keep your cell phone charged and pack extra drinking water, some food and all necessary medications. Pack items that would help in case you encounter an unscheduled highway closure.
  • Pack an Emergency Kit in your vehicle – it should include blankets, a flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, container of sand for traction and hazard warning lights or reflectors.
  • Beware of Black Ice – especially at night when melting snow can turn to slippery ice. And remember, ice tends to form on bridges first and can be hard to see.
  • Stay Up to Date – Visit ADOT’s Travel Information site at az511.gov to get the latest highway condition information.

Depending on the severity and frequency of snow and ice in the state’s high country, ADOT usually spends between $5 million and $8 million on snow-removal operations during a winter season. More than 200,000 gallons of fuel were used to keep snowplows and support vehicles running last winter.

Did you know ADOT has three snowplows stationed in the Phoenix area? The trio of plows is kept at the agency’s Mesa maintenance yard and is most often used to clear snow and ice from sections of State Route 87 north of Fountain Hills, if and when a winter storm delivers snow to that area.

ADOT (logo) - azdot.gov

Think it doesn't snow in Arizona? Think again!

snow plow

Tips for staying safe on wintery roads and driving near snowplows.

Opening from towplow video

ADOT has added a new piece of equipment - a TowPlow - to its winter-safety operations.

car on snowy road

What to pack in an emergency preparedness kit.