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Tips for driving, staying safe in dangerous heat from ADOT

Posted at 4:47 AM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 12:11:28-04

Before hitting the road, remember that the extreme heat can take a toll on your vehicle.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is asking drivers to plan your route ahead of time and let a friend or family member know the details. They also suggest keeping your fuel tank three-quarters full as often as possible. 

"Running out of gas - especially in a remote location - is extremely dangerous in extreme heat," ADOT wrote in a press release. 

Officials also described tips to prepare your vehicle for traveling in dangerous temperatures. 

First, they suggest checking the vehicle for any issues. 

"Having a vehicle breakdown in extreme heat can be very dangerous," ADOT explained in a release. "Especially if you try to repair your vehicle yourself (which causes exertion) or if you must wait for help to arrive. 

Heat can also deplete your car battery. Experts suggest checking the fluid levels and consider having it tested by a professional. 

Also, check coolant levels and top off fluids, like motor oil or brake fluid.

"The combination of underinflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout. Check your tire pressure. It should be at the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer." 

Also, make sure your vehicle's air conditioning system is functioning properly.

ADOT also created a list of "must haves" for every car: 

  • Never drive in extreme heat without a fully-charged cell phone and extra drinking water for all passengers, including pets.
  • A cooler to keep extra drinking water cold (Consider adding several frozen bottles of water to use for cooling off or to thaw and drink if needed.)
  • An umbrella for shade
  • Sunscreen
  • A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing to provide protection from sunburn
  • Necessary prescribed medication(s) and pain relievers
  • A first-aid kit
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • A travel tool kit and battery cables
  • Safety flares
  • Extra radiator water
  • Healthy snacks
  • A road map