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Driving in snow: Make sure to bring these items

Car driving in snow
Posted at 3:13 PM, Dec 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 16:51:10-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Snow has finally fallen in Arizona, but before you grab friends or family to go enjoy the winter season up north, the Arizona Department of Transportation is warning drivers to play it safe.

According to ADOT, you should always travel in winter weather with : a fully-charged cell phone, drinking water, winter coats and warm blankets, or both.

They also advise keeping these on hand:

  • Gloves, scarves, caps and extra socks
  • Necessary prescribed medication(s) and pain relievers
  • A first-aid kit
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • An ice scraper
  • A small bag of sand (or kitty litter) for wheel traction
  • A small folding shovel for snow removal
  • A travel tool kit and battery cables
  • Safety flares
  • Plastic bags or containers for sanitation
  • Healthy snacks
  • A road map

To prep your ride, ADOT says you must pay attention to the following:

  • the battery
  • ignition and exhaust systems
  • thermostat
  • defroster
  • heater
  • brakes

Other steps also worth consideration:

  • Use snow tires, chains or studded tires as recommended, required or both on snowy, icy roads. Studded tires are permitted on Arizona highways from Oct. 1 to May 1.
  • Make sure the antifreeze in your radiator can handle freezing temperatures.
  • Install new windshield wiper blades and solvent.
  • Ensure your headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals work well and can be seen if visibility is low.
  • Change your motor oil to a winter grade.

Another MUST to safe snow travel is the battery. TDOT says "Your battery must be in optimal condition."

This means, if you need to replace it, do it BEFORE you leave for the snow. If it doesn't need replacing, per ADOT, make sure it has adequate voltage, cables are tight and maybe even have a mechanic inspect the charging system.