Prepare for the Heat When Traveling Over Memorial Day Weekend

Prepare for the Heat When Traveling Over Memorial Day Weekend

No State Highway Closures, But Warm Weather Prep is Essential

As Arizonans gear up for Memorial Day weekend, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has announced that there will be no construction closures on state highways. This effort is focused on ensuring both highway safety and smooth holiday traffic flow. From Friday afternoon, May 24, to late Monday night, May 27, ADOT and its contractors will not schedule any full closures on the state highway system, including Phoenix-area freeways. 

However, drivers should remain vigilant, allow extra travel time, and be prepared to slow down and merge safely when approaching existing work zones. It’s important to be ready for unscheduled highway closures due to crashes, disabled vehicles, or other incidents such as wildfires.

Preparing for Hot Weather

As the hot weather begins to impact much of Arizona, ADOT emphasizes the importance of preparing your vehicle and yourself for the heat. Here are some essential tips and recommendations to ensure a safe and comfortable journey:

  • Emergency Prep Kit: Equip your vehicle with an emergency prep kit. Essential items include:

    – Extra drinking water

    – Blankets

    – First-aid kit

    – Flashlight and extra batteries

    – Fully charged cellphone and charger

    – Snacks

    – Diapers (if traveling with young children)

    – Small tool kit

    – Prescription medicines

    – Hat, sunglasses, and an umbrella for rain or shade

  • Vehicle Maintenance: Before hitting the road, check your vehicle thoroughly:

    – Tire pressure

    – Engine fluid levels

    – Battery charge

  • Avoiding Fatigue: Get adequate rest before traveling. Fatigue significantly increases safety risks.
  • Safety First: Always buckle up, obey speed limits, and never drive while impaired. Arrange for a designated driver or use a ride service if necessary.
  • Fire Safety: Avoid stopping in areas with grasses and brush. Hot vehicle components could start a fire.

Dealing with Changing Weather Conditions

Arizonans should also be prepared for changing weather conditions, including blowing dust. Staying updated on real-time highway conditions is crucial. More information about traveling in hot weather is available on the ADOT website.

Additional Travel Safety Tips

  • Avoid Distractions: Don’t text while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
  • Move Over: Be prepared to slow down and move over if ADOT maintenance crews, first responders, or disabled vehicles with flashing lights are along state highways.

The ADOT Incident Response Unit (IRU), sponsored by GEICO, patrols Phoenix-area freeways in Maricopa County from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The IRU operators assist state troopers as well as drivers in need of help.

For real-time highway conditions, visit ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at, use the AZ511 app, or call 511. ADOT also provides highway condition updates via its X/Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT.

Stay safe and prepared, and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend travels!