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TIPS: How to stay safe while driving in the snow in Arizona

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jan 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-05 22:20:37-05

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Icy roads and snow-covered are not things you think about when you say Arizona.

But "Old Man Winter" isn't sparing the Grand Canyon State.

Less than a week ago Wickenburg got a dusting of powder. Resident Bob Taschetta said, "It was amazing how fast it came down and how quickly it stuck."

The high country has gotten the worst of the snow over the last several weeks and is preparing for another round this weekend.

ABC15 spoke with Arizona Department of Transportation officials who say roads near Flagstaff are usually the most treacherous areas.

ADOT Spokesperson Doug Nintzel says, "From the Sedona turnoff up into the Flagstaff area because you start on that upgrade and that's where some folks are not getting traction." Nintzel says ADOT plows will be out preparing for the snow, putting down anti-icing agents.

But drivers have to do their parts.

"The top mistake that drivers make is that they drive too fast in those winter conditions," Nintzel adds.

He says slow down and keep a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

ADOT officials also advise drivers to take a look at your car battery, the defroster and brakes.

Make sure your headlights can be seen in low visibility and always be prepared with an emergency kit with things like extra blankets, and an extra change of warm clothing in case you get wet.

Should traffic snarl up because of the weather, drive to a designated play area instead of jumping out on the side of the road.

Nintzel says, "That shoulder is there for emergency vehicles. We have signs out there advising drivers do not park on the shoulders because you could be hearing from a law enforcement officer."