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When you think of Arizona, snowfall isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind, but in reality, it’s common for mountainous areas in Arizona to see snowfall during the summer months. ‘winter. Flagstaff holds the title of snowiest city in the state with an average snowfall of around 102 inches per year. However, other parts of the state are also experiencing snowpack. For the past 10 years, the average snowfall in Prescott, Arizona has been 12.7 inches per year. While that might not seem like much compared to Flagstaff’s 102 inches, there is one thing that is in common between the areas. Drive safely in the snow.
Prepare for winter
When a storm is expected to arrive, it’s a good idea for drivers to plan ahead to ensure they can navigate safely despite the weather. Before a storm hits, it’s a good idea to make sure your vehicle is winter-ready. Of course, the best plan is to stay home when the weather conditions are not ideal, but if you are planning to go out in a snowstorm, AAA suggests that drivers take the following precautions:
- Keep a bundle of cold weather gear in your car, like extra food and water, warm clothes, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
- Keep at least one fuel tank in your vehicle.
- Never heat a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on slippery surfaces such as ice and snow.
Safe driving tips
If you are venturing into snow or when the roads are still icy, here are 8 safe driving tips from safemotorist.com that will help you when the roads are slippery with ice or snow:
- Get the feel of the road. Start slowly and test your steering control and braking ability. Avoid spinning your tires when starting off by gently depressing your accelerator pedal until the vehicle begins to roll. Start slowing down at least three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.
- Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most efficient and should be used where ice and snow remain on the road. Often times, drivers will see notifications in areas, like Flagstaff, that suggest snow chains when conditions deem it necessary. Remember, snow tires do slip on packed ice or snow, so keep your distance.
- Reduce your speed to match the conditions. There is no “safe” speed range at which you can drive on snow or ice. You have to be extremely careful until you can determine how much traction you can expect from your tires.
- When stationary, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel and gently pump the brake. Avoid locking the brakes on enameled glass as this will result in loss of steering and control. Every block and every mile of freeway can be different, depending on the sun or shade and the surface of the road. (Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual, if the vehicle has anti-lock brakes, you can apply constant pressure to the brake pedal.)
- Maintain a safe gap between you and future care from you depending on road conditions. Many unnecessary rear-end accidents happen on icy streets because drivers forget to leave stopping space.
- Keep your vehicle in good working order. Lights, tires, brakes, wipers, defroster and radiator are especially important in winter driving. Make sure you check your vehicle and make sure everything is in good repair before you hit the road.
- Keep your windows clear. Do not start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean, even if you are only driving a short distance.
- Watch for dangerous or slippery places in front of you. Ice may remain on bridges even if the rest of the road is clear. Snow and ice also stick longer in shaded areas.
Make sure you’re covered
Driving safely is always an important part of operating a vehicle and it becomes even more important when road conditions are less than ideal. Of course, things can happen when driving in winter conditions, even for seasoned and careful drivers. If you find yourself in an accident, having a reliable insurance agent by your side can ease a stressful situation. Knowing who to contact, knowing if your accident is covered, and making a claim can be stressful.
Vince Moser is a local agricultural agent who is a trusted partner in our community. He is there to help you even in the most stressful times. He has developed lasting relationships through his community involvement. He is your go-to insurance agent in the Quad Cities. Check your policy or the policy options available for your vehicle before you set off. Click here to learn more about auto insurance with Vince Moser.