Top Tips for Staying Safe on Arizona’s Roads

There were more than 120,000 crashes on Arizona roads in 2021, which caused 35,203 injuries and 1,063 fatalities. While some accidents are unavoidable, there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of getting into a car accident in Arizona.

Here are Wade & Nysather’s top tips for safe driving in Arizona. Injured in an auto accident? Schedule an appointment with our experienced Arizona accident attorneys for a free consultation.

Driving Safety Tips

Most driving safety tips can be broken down into four categories: practicing defensive driving, ignoring distractions, practicing safety, and making a safe driving plan.

Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is about keeping an eye on what other drivers are doing and trying to avoid accidents. To practice defensive driving:

  • Assume other drivers will do something crazy and be prepared to avoid it
  • Pay attention to what other drivers are doing and expect the unexpected
  • Keep at least a 2-second distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you
  • In bad weather, keep at least 4 seconds between you and the vehicle ahead of you

Ignore Distractions

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Do your part to avoid distracted driving by:

  • Ignoring your phone and other electronic devices while driving
  • Avoiding multitasking and keeping 100% of your attention on driving at all times
  • Slowing down – speeding increases the severity of accidents and gives you less time to react

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Practice Safety

Doing these things every time you drive can help keep you and everybody else safe:

  • Always wear your seat belt, insist all passengers wear seat belts, and keep children under 13 in the back seat in appropriate booster or car seats
  • Drive sober and drug-free
  • Keep necessary items within easy reach, such as toll fees and garage passes
  • Don’t pick up items that fall to the floor while driving

Make a Safe Driving Plan

Whether driving to work or taking a road trip, a safe driving plan includes:

  • Adjusting your mirrors, seat, and climate controls before putting the vehicle in gear
  • Adding extra time to your trip schedule for phone calls, rest breaks, food, or other business
  • Pulling over to drink, eat, or look at your phone

Weather Safety Tips

The Phoenix area is prone to many types of extreme weather events. Do you know how to stay safe driving through each one?


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General Weather Safety Tips

  • When in doubt, wait it out. In dust storms, heavy rain, or other low-visibility weather events, pull your vehicle as far off the road as possible. Set the parking brake, take your foot off the brake, and turn off your headlights (including your hazard lights) so other drivers don’t mistakenly follow you.
  • Don’t cross flooded streets, even if the water is only a few inches deep. Rushing water is more powerful than you might expect, and you could face fines under Arizona’s Stupid Motorist Law.
  • Treat intersections like four-way stops if traffic lights are out.
  • Stay alert in areas prone to falling rocks; storm runoff can loosen rocks and boulders on slopes above highways.

During Rain

  • Replace your windshield wipers as soon as they start showing signs of wear and tear
  • Turn on your headlights to increase visibility, even if it’s daytime
  • Reduce your speed and keep extra distance between you and other vehicles
  • Do not brake suddenly if you can avoid it; if you start hydroplaning, ease your foot off the gas and turn your steering wheel in the direction of the slide

During Dust Storms

  • Pull off the road as soon as possible; don’t wait until the visibility gets too bad to see
  • Don’t stop in a travel lane or emergency lane; pull as far off the paved section as possible
  • Turn off all lights, including your emergency flashers, set your emergency brake, and take your foot off the brake
  • Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelts buckled and wait for the storm to pass

During Extreme Heat

  • Make sure your AC is functioning properly
  • Check your tire pressure: underinflated tires plus hot pavement can equal a blowout
  • Top off your coolant and other vital engine fluids
  • Get your battery tested and replace it if necessary

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Supplies You Should Keep in Your Car

You never know when a flat tire, dead battery, bad weather, or car crash will strand you somewhere, so you should always keep these supplies in your vehicle in case of emergencies:

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • First aid kit
  • Spare tire and a jack
  • Basic repair tools, including duct tape
  • Work gloves and a change of clothes
  • Paper maps
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Paper towels and water for cleaning up
  • Emergency coats, towels, and blankets
  • Drinking water, nonperishable food, and medicines
  • Flares and a white flag

The Most Dangerous Roads in Arizona

The majority of Arizona’s most dangerous roads are in the Phoenix area. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you may want to find alternate routes and avoid these roads:

  • Interstate 10, especially from Exit 157 to Exit 152
  • 43rd Avenue from Lamar Road to McDowell Road
  • Interstate 19
  • Thomas Road from 71st Avenue to 37th Avenue
  • Indian School Road from 40th Avenue to Third Street and 53rd Avenue to 91st Avenue
  • US Route 93
  • Bethany Home Road from 35th Avenue to 12th Place
  • Interstate 40
  • McDowell Road from Scottsdale Road to 36th Street
  • Bell Road from 26th Street to 23rd Avenue
  • Interstate 17
  • Northern Avenue from 19th Avenue to 56th Avenue
  • 19th Avenue from Shangri-La Road to Union Hills Drive

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Injured in a Car Crash? Contact an Expert Car Accident Attorney

No matter what you do to drive safely, you may still get into an accident caused by an unsafe driver. If you were injured in a car crash caused by another driver, contact the expert car accident lawyers at Wade & Nysather today. We may be able to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

We have several Phoenix-area locations for your convenience. Call or Text 602-547-2222.


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