Snow -- Lots of it -- Headed For Flagstaff. Some Helpful Info For the Valley's Infamously Awful Drivers, Compliments of the DPS

If you're a Valley motorist and think you know how to drive in the snow, you're wrong -- you can't...not even a little all.

The majority of the folks who get behind the wheel here in the Valley can't even drive safely in rain, so with up to 20 inches of snow headed for Flagstaff in the next few days (Wednesday to Friday), the Department of Public Safety is terrified a little concerned some desert dwellers might find their way to the high county -- which would be good for no one.

Should you feel the need to venture north, the DPS says it will be shifting resources to make as many patrolmen available as possible to respond to emergency calls during this period.

It's also compiled a list of helpful tips for drivers who may find themselves traveling through the blizzard -- most important: just because you have 4-wheel drive doesn't mean you know how to drive in snow and doesn't entitle you to drive faster than the rest of us.

Check out some of the DPS' helpful tips below:

  • To check on the latest winter road conditions, call 5-1-1 or view this information on the Web at www. Dial 9-1-1 only for emergency situations.
  • Leave at least 500 feet of distance between your vehicle and a snowplow or salt truck.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full and you have some food, warm blankets and clothing in the vehicle in case of emergency. If you have a cell phone, make sure it's fully charged, working, and can be re-charged in your vehicle.
  • Tell others about your travel route and itinerary, so that if you don't arrive at your destination, they can contact law enforcement officers and inform them where to look.
  • Keep others informed if you're going to be late or encounter problems so they won't worry needlessly.
  • It's safer to travel with passengers and convoy with other vehicles than it is to drive alone.
  • Remember, the speed limit is based on clear roads and dry pavement, don't drive too fast for conditions. Four-wheel drive doesn't permit you to drive faster on snow packed or icy roads
  • Watch for slippery spots on bridges and overpasses.
  • Take note of mileposts, exit numbers or crossroads in case you slide off the road or are involved in a crash so that law enforcement officers and tow truck operators can find you.
  • If the storm makes driving too hazardous or if your car breaks down, stay in the vehicle. Run your engine and heater for short intervals to stay warm. Be sure to crack the window to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.
  • Add a winter solution/ de-icer windshield washer fluid as summer solution will freeze solid. Wiper condition should be checked as well. Check your vehicle's tire tread.

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James King
Contact: James King