Drivers Should Prepare For High Country Snow This Week 

As Arizona’s high country prepares for snow this week, drivers should focus on safe driving – including slowing down, if they are traveling on highways where winter weather is creating potentially hazardous conditions.

That’s the safety message from the Arizona Department of Transportation as storms are expected to create snow packed and icy conditions on a number of highways. Drivers should avoid traveling in winter weather and consider delaying trips until after storms have passed and conditions have improved.

Drivers in lower-elevation locations should plan for possible rain and wet roadways and be prepared to slow down and leave more following distance behind other vehicles.

Safer conditions will exist in upper elevation areas once ADOT’s team of snowplow operators has time to clear snow and ice from highways. Here are additional winter and wet weather safety recommendations:

  • Stay up to date on weather and highway conditions: In addition to following National Weather Service forecasts (, drivers can visit ADOT’s Traveler Information site at or call 511 for highway conditions.
  • Leave prepared: Dress for cold weather if traveling into the high country. Bring extra clothes and gloves as part of an emergency prep kit in case you need to stop along a highway. Be sure your cellphone is charged and pack extra drinking water, food and prescription medications (in case you encounter delays).
  • Other items for an emergency kit: Blankets, flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, container with sand or kitty litter for tire traction if your vehicle is stuck in icy conditions. ADOT has a complete list of items at (list of “Must haves for every vehicle”).
  • Tire Chains: Drivers also should anticipate that, depending on the severity of winter storm conditions, chains and/or four-wheel drive vehicle capability are likely to be recommended on some highways impacted by snow or ice.

ADOT and law enforcement agencies again remind travelers not to stop next to highways, including I-17, US 180, SR 87, SR 260, to play in the snow. Doing so is unsafe. People should instead go to established snow play areas. Parking along highway shoulders for snow play is not allowed, since that can block areas that emergency response vehicles may need to use.

Drivers also can look for messages on ADOT’s statewide network of electronic signs. ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT and Facebook page ( also provide information and answers about highway conditions.

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