It's Hot Out There, So Plan Ahead When Hitting the Road

In case you haven't noticed, it's pretty hot right now in Arizona. And not just in Phoenix and Tucson, either. With that in mind, our bosses at the Arizona Department of Transportation would like to remind everyone that just because you're in an air-conditioned vehicle doesn't mean you shouldn't plan ahead for driving in the heat. Crashes, dust storms and vehicle breakdowns can mean spending a lot more time outside than you thought you would.

For starters, ADOT recommends carrying extra water — enough for the driver, passengers and any pets that are with you. Have your car's battery tested, especially if it's more than three years old; the heat can wreak havoc on batteries. Check your coolant level, engine belts and oil level, and make sure your tires are at the recommended pressure level. And replace your wiper blades if they're worn out, since monsoon storms can come on without warning.

Finally, you should prepare a "to go" travel pack that includes a cellphone charger, a hat, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, sunglasses, a flashlight with extra batteries, snacks and a road map. That will help cover some of the less-likely scenarios you could encounter.

ADOT also says you should plan your travel route in advance and let someone know where you're going, how you're getting there and when you expect to arrive. Fill up before you go so you don't run out of gas somewhere. And before you leave, check, ADOT's travel-information site, to get up to date on highway conditions.

Do you have any other tips for driving in the heat? Share them in the comments!

Photo: The Sonoran Desert, an undeniably hot place. | Saija Lehtonen


Make sure your spare tire is inflated and you have a good jack and lug nut wrench. Also good jumper cables. Also, I think you should have a spare gallon of water and at least a gallon of engine coolant in the trunk, and an extra quart or 2 of oil and tranny fluid.

Enough water for yourself, your passengersd, and your pets is not enough water. Carry enough that you can provide water to someone who has none. I always carry two full cases of bottled water. That way I can give bottles to those in need. I also carry a six gallon jug for my truck if I will be out of cell phone range.

Bring oven mitts

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