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More than 10,000 drivers required roadside assistance last Labor Day weekend, AAA Arizona says

Experts urge drivers to pack with emergencies in mind
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Posted at 5:45 AM, Sep 02, 2022

While many Arizonans may be getting a break from work this holiday weekend, the heat is back on with temperatures back near 110 degrees this Labor Day.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and AAA Arizona want to make sure drivers do not hit the road without weather in mind.

Operation Safe Roads spoke with the experts. Michelle Donati with AAA Arizona said they do receive a spike in calls for roadside assistance amid hotter travel conditions.

She said the most common heat-related calls are overheating, tire failure, broken belts and hoses, dead batteries, and windshields.

ADOT wants to make sure drivers remember to take extra items in their vehicle for the trip in case there is an unscheduled closure or crash.

"When you're in the vehicle, make sure you're bringing plenty of extra drinking water," Doug Nintzel suggested. "Don't just think you're going off for a day trip. Have those things packed that are going to keep you comfortable and even if you have to stop along the highway - packing an extra blanket, some towels - these are things you can even kneel down on if you have to change a flat along the highway."

AAA Arizona said they had to help more than 10,000 drivers stuck on the side of the road in our state last Labor Day weekend, so they ask that commuters take the time to inspect their vehicles and pack them properly before leaving.

There are no planned weekend construction projects in the Valley, but ADOT does have roadwork going on along I-17.

"We do have a project along I-17 south of Flagstaff where the southbound side of the freeway is down to one lane and this is for a pavement improvement project, but it's an around-the-clock restriction," Nintzel explained. "So, in several areas south of Flagstaff, you may wind up running into that one-lane situation. Busiest probably on Monday afternoon coming back along I-17 southbound anywhere between Flagstaff and the Sedona turn off."

Have a road issue or a question for Operation Safe Roads? Call 833-AZ-ROADS or email roads@abc15.com