Safety Messages

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is dedicated to protecting human life and property throughout Arizona, especially on the state's expansive highway system. Below you will find safety tips and other information that can empower you to better protect your own safety and the safety of others while on the road and in the community. The information below can also help you become a more informed citizen about critical issues that affect Arizona and the safety of its residents.


Aggressive driving is defined as a progression of unlawful driving actions such as:
  • Speeding - exceeding the posted limit or driving too fast for conditions; improper or excessive lane changing: failing to signal intent, failing to see that movement can be made safely, or
  • Improper passing - failing to signal intent, using an emergency lane to pass, or passing on the shoulder.


More on aggressive driving:
  • The "aggressive driver" fails to consider the human element involved. The anonymity of being behind the wheel gives aggressive drivers a false sense of control and power; therefore, they seldom take into account the consequences of their actions.
  • Aggressive Driving vs. Road Rage. There is a difference. Aggressive driving is a traffic offense; road rage is a criminal offense.
  • Road rage is defined as "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”
  • Road rage requires willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.
  • A national survey sponsored by NHTSA of 6,000 drivers over the age of sixteen showed that the public supports increased enforcement including photo enforcement, increasing sanctions, increasing intervention by vehicle occupants and increasing public awareness of risks, as ways of reducing these types of unsafe driving practices.
  • The posted speed limit is a law that applies to all traffic lanes. Technically speaking, there is no fast lane or slow lane. In at least 21 states, slower traffic is expected to keep right, except for emergency vehicles, which are permitted to exceed the posted speed limit, but only when their lights and sirens are on. In some states, laws specify "keep right except to pass.”
  • According to NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts 1998, approximately 6,335,000 crashes occur in the United States each year. It is unknown exactly how many of those crashes are caused by aggressive driving. Estimates indicate the number to be substantial, based on the violations committed by the drivers of the vehicles involved in the crashes and reported by law enforcement agencies as the contributing factor of the crash.


Things to Avoid
  • Expressing Frustration - Taking out your frustrations on your fellow motorists can lead to violence or a crash.
  • Fail to Pay Attention when Driving - Reading, eating, drinking or talking on the phone, can be a major cause of roadway crashes.
  • Tailgating - This is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injury or death.
  • >Making Frequent Lane Changes - If you whip in and out of lanes to advance ahead, you can be a danger to other motorists.
  • Running Red Lights - Do not enter an intersection on a yellow light. Remember flashing red lights should be treated as a stop sign.
  • Speeding - Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a “road racer” and going too fast for conditions are some examples of speeding.


Things to Do
  • Concentrate - Don't allow yourself to become distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, drinking or putting on makeup.
  • Relax - Tune the radio to your favorite relaxing music. Music can calm your nerves and help you to enjoy your time in the car.
  • Drive the Posted Speed Limit - Fewer crashes occur when vehicles are traveling at or about the same speed.
  • Identify Alternate Routes - Try mapping out an alternate route. Even if it looks longer on paper, you may find it less congested.
  • Use Public Transportation - Public transportation can give you some much-needed relief from life behind the wheel.
  • Just Be Late - if all else fails, just be late.


What to Do if Confronted by an Aggressive Driver
  • Get Out of the Way - First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
  • Put Your Pride Aside - Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
  • Avoid Eye Contact - Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
  • Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
  • Report Serious Aggressive Driving - You or a passenger may call 9-1-1, but if you are using cell phone, pull over to a safe location.

As a motorist in Arizona, you always need to be aware of your surroundings on the roadways, whether it be motorcycles on the freeways or bicyclers on city streets. As a cyclist, you have to know how to properly manuver the roadways that have vehicles zipping by. It is important as drivers and bicycle riders to adhere to all traffic laws and to watch out for one another on the roadways. In Arizona, it is legal for bicycles to ride in the traffic lanes, as long as they adhere to the same street laws as motorists.



To be safe and avoid accidents, bicyclists should ride with traffic and be aware of hazards, cars, and people around them. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Program from the Arizona Department of Transportation created a few safety tips to help you bike smart and bike safely in Arizona:

• Ride on the right hand side of the road 

• Always ride with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic is very dangerous.

• Ride predictably

• Follow the same rules motorists do; travel in a straight line without swerving into other traffic lanes.

• Obey traffic control devices (signs, signals, lane markings)

• Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road, just like other vehicles. 

• Protect your head

• Always wear a helmet, even on short trips.

• Follow lane markings

• Don't turn left from the right lane; don't ride straight in a lane marked "Right-Turn Only".

• Ride correctly through intersections

• Use the right-most lane that goes in your directions. If you're heading straight, get in the through lane, not to the right of a turning vehicle. 

• Signal before you move or stop 

• Hand signals let drivers and others know what you intend to do next. 

• Enter streets and intersections cautiously 

• Always check for oncoming traffic.

• Ride defensively on the road

• Anticipate hazards and be ready to adjust your position in traffic.

• Don't ride on the sidewalk 

• Bicycles (except postal and police bicycles) are not legal on sidewalks in many cities.

• Be visible and be seen 

• Wear bright colors to increase your visibility and make eye contact with drivers.

• Look behind you

• Know how to look over your shoulder without swerving or losing your balance; side-view mirrors are an option. 

• Make sure everything on your bicycle is in proper working condition before you ride. 




Driving alongside bicyclers, sometimes requires extra safety precautions taken for motorists. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Program from the Arizona Department of Transportation, has a few tips to help motorists adjust their behavior when accompanied by bicyclers while traveling.


Drive cautiously

• Give cyclists a break and slow down when they are sharing the road with you.

• Recognize a potentially dangerous situation for a bicyclist and give them extra space.


Yield to cyclists

• Cyclists may need the entire lane if there is a hazard in their lane of travel.

• Drivers should give cyclists time to cross intersections. 


Be considerate

• Don't honk your horn when passing a cyclist.

• When parked on the street, watch for cyclists before opening your door.


Pass with care

• Give a cyclist plenty of space when passing (at least three feet).

• Look over your shoulder after passing a cyclist to make sure they're clear before moving back into position.


Watch for kids

• Children on bikes can be unpredictable, make sure to slow down.

• Don't expect kids to know and follow traffic laws.




Please click the links below to read the Arizona Revised Statutes regarding bicycle laws.

• ARS 28-644: Stop for traffic lights and stop signs.

• ARS 28-704: Any vehicle on a two-lane road that has five or more vehicles behind it, must pull off at the first safe pullout to allow the vehicles behind to proceed.

• ARS 28-721: Any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed shall drive in the right-hand lane, or "as close as practicable" to the right edge of the road, except when preparing to turn left or when passing. 

• ARS 28-756: Before you turn or change lanes, look behind you, signal to show your plan to turn or change lanes, and yield to any traffic already there. Cyclists may signal their turns by extending either their left arm for a left turn or their right arm for a right turn. 

• ARS 28-792 & ARS 28-904: Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks.

• ARS 28-813: Every person riding a bicycle must have a regular seat to sit on.

• ARS 28-814: You may not attach to, or hold onto, another vehicle on the roadway.

• ARS 28-815: You may ride no more than two side-by-side, except on exclusive bike paths.

• ARS 28-816: You must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.

• ARS 28-817: Every bicycle must have at least one brake that will make the wheel skid when applied.

Additionally, in the Tucson, Sierra Vista, Yuma county and Pima county, it is mandatory to wear a helmet for bicyclists under the age of 18. Although helmets are not required by law statewide, most bicycle advocacy organizations and clubs agree that bicyclists should wear helmets at all times. 

About Bicycle Helmets

If you ride at night, Arizona law requires bicyclists to have a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet and a rear reflector visible from 50-300 feet.

About Bicycle Lights



• AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

• Arizona Revised Statutes

• Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

• Governor's Office of Highway Safety

• Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

• National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

• National SAFE KIDS Campaign

• AZ See Me Bicycle Safety Tips

Fatigue is a complex state characterized by a lack of alertness and reduced mental and physical performance, often accompanied by drowsiness.

The Department of Public Safety is committed to reducing collisions caused by fatigued drivers.


Fatigue Signs & Symptoms
  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor communication
  • Impaired decision making skills
  • Lack of alertness
  • Nodding off
  • Slow reaction time
  • Micro-sleep
  • Withdrawn
  • Depressed
  • Moody
  • Quick to anger
  • No sense of humor
  • Lack of interest
  • Always tired


Factors That Cause Fatigue
  • Sleep loss and/or disturbed sleep
  • Disrupted biological clock
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Monotony or familiarity 
  • Quality & quantity of sleep
  • Continuous hours of being awake
  • Illness
  • Time of day/circadian effects
  • Sleep disorders
  • Environment
  • Nutrition
  • Physical fitness
  • Drugs
  • Health
  • Age


Accumulating a Sleep Debt

Sleep loss is cumulative and builds a debt. Most people get to 1-1.5 hours less of sleep per night than what they need. People whose sleep was restricted four to five hours per night for one week, needed two full nights sleep to recover vigilance, performance and normal mood. How do you get out of sleep debt? Sleep!

Sleep is a vital need. One-third of our life should be spent asleep. The average person needs at least eight hours of sleep. Some people mistakenly feel they don't need a full night's sleep.


Create an Optimal Sleep Environment
  • A great pillow and mattress
  • Location of bedroom
  • Cool room temperature
  • NO light
  • Quiet
  • White Noise
  • Consistent bedtime routine
  • Security
  • Don't go to bed hungry
  • Avoid work or worry in the bedroom
  • One long period of sleep
  • Consistent wake up time
  • Limit both caffeine and alcohol


Make up for prior loss or disturbance using 1.5 - 3 hour sleep periods. Prevent or minimize sleepiness during work especially on night shifts by using 20-30 minute naps or "siesta sleep".


Driving Drowsy
  • 19 hours without sleep is comparable to a BAC of .05%
  • 24 hours without sleep is comparable to a BAC of .10%



Drop houses are often an intermediary point in the smuggling of immigrants who are not legally permitted to enter the United States. The drop houses are usually rented properties where coyotes, or human smugglers, stash immigrants while awaiting payments. These properties can range from actual houses or apartments and are not limited to any one geographic area of the state.


Common Characteristics of a Drop House
  • Security bars on windows or windows fortified in some manner
  • Shed or other dwellings in rear of house with excessive activity
  • Blankets or sheets, over or under the blinds
  • Excessive trash in the back or front yards
  • Large quantities of discarded empty ramen noodles, egg or other bulk food packaging
  • No activity until late at night with numerous people coming and going from the house
  • Vehicles that are stripped down that enter and exit from a back yard or through RV gates
  • Suspicious persons that appear to stand guard or be on breaks outside


Inside a Drop House

Often, the immigrants are being held against their will and have been misled by the coyotes. Treatment of immigrants is generally very poor which may include food, water and medicine being withheld to the point of death. In addition, any children and infants are generally lacking the basics such as baby formula or appropriate food.


It's Your Community

The violent nature of the criminal operations that utilize drop houses, and their total disregard for human life, make them a threat not only to the immigrants they exploit, but also to the communities in which they operate. As a result, if human smugglers are operating in your neighborhood, you and your family could be at risk.


Real Estate Professionals

Watch for unusual requests such as month-to-month leases, lack of interest in the amenities or no request for walk through of a property prior to renting. Be alert of properties being leased by one person, but rent paid by others in cash or behaviors such as not turning on utilities. It’s important that as a professional, you are not providing a service to human smugglers – be alert.


What Can Be Done

It’s important for the public and those that work in real estate or related fields to be on the lookout for unusual activities that may signify the existence of a drop house. If you suspect a house is being used for human smuggling or other criminal purposes, please contact your local police department immediately. Human smuggling is undoubtedly a significant problem with potentially grave consequences, but law enforcement, with help from informed, alert community members, are already making a major difference.


Related Links



The Arizona Department of Transportation offers the 511 Traveler Information Service. It’s simple; by just dialing 511, you can get information on closures, delays, public transit services, major airports, tourism, weather and more. You no longer need to remember those long phone numbers. All this information is available by dialing 3 digits, 511.



The Arizona Department of Transportation offers the following online resources which will provide you with real-time Arizona freeway conditions and camera images, brought to you by az511.com:


Related Links



In Arizona, if you are 21-years-old or older, you can receive a DUI charge if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is above .08% (commercial vehicle driver - .04%, under 21 - 0.00%). If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs through field sobriety testing, a chemical test will be administered. Refusal to take the chemical test may result in a one year suspension of your driver license, if it is your first offense.& If it is your second or third offense, your driver license may be suspended for two years.


What are the penalties for a DUI in Arizona?
  1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Jail Min. 24 hours to 10 days Min. 30 days to 90 days Min. 4 months
Fines and Penalties $250 base fine $500 base fine $750 base fine
License Suspension 90 days to 1 year 1 year 1 year
Interlock Ignition Device Required? Yes Yes Yes


The table below shows the general effects of alcohol within one hour on an average person of a given body weight. Please do not rely solely on this information. Every person is different and alcohol effects each person in a different way. Only you know your limits. Please drink responsibly.


Levels of Intoxication

BAC less than 0.05% - Use Caution

BAC .05-.079% - May be impaired

BAC .08%+ - Presumed under the influence


One Standard Drink Equals – 1.5 oz. 80 proof liquor, or 5 oz. wine, or 12 oz. beer

Body Weight Number of Drinks
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
100 0.032 0.065 0.097 0.129 0.162 0.194 0.226 0.258 0.291
120 0.027 0.054 0.081 0.108 0.135 0.161 0.188 0.215 0.242
140 0.023 0.046 0.069 0.092 0.115 0.138 0.161 0.184 0.207
160 0.020 0.040 0.060 0.080 0.101 0.121 0.141 0.161 0.181
180 0.018 0.036 0.054 0.072 0.090 0.108 0.126 0.144 0.162
200 0.016 0.032 0.048 0.064 0.080 0.097 0.113 0.129 0.145
220 0.015 0.029 0.044 0.058 0.073 0.088 0.102 0.117 0.131
240 0.014 0.027 0.040 0.053 0.067 0.081 0.095 0.108 0.121
This table shows the general effects of alcohol within one hour on an average of a given body weight. Please do not rely solely on this information. Every person is different and alcohol effects each person in a different way. Only you know your limits. Please drink responsibly.



The following Arizona Statutes are available pertaining to Arizona DUI laws:


  • Title 4 - 241: Selling or giving liquor to underage person; illegally obtaining liquor by underage person; violation; classification; definitions
  • Title 28-1381: Driving Under the Influence
  • Title 28-1382: Driving Under the Influence with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .15 or more (Extreme DUI)
  • Title 28-1383: Aggravated Driving Under the Influence

Prevention Savings of Impaired Driving Measures

Arizona already has many important impaired driving laws. They are saving money and lives. The estimates that follow describe the expected costs and savings, given Arizona’s prices and impaired driving rates. The estimates assume Arizona’s laws achieve average U.S. effectiveness levels.

  • Administrative License Revocation: Laws that allow police or driver licensing authorities to revoke a driver’s license swiftly and automatically for refusing or failing a BAC test have reduced alcohol-related fatalities by 6.5% on average and saved an estimated $54,100 per driver sanctioned. The value of the driver’s lost mobility is the large majority of the estimated $2,700 cost per driver sanctioned. Reinstatement fees assessed to offenders typically cover start-up and operating costs.
  • Zero Tolerance Law: Laws like Arizona’s that make it illegal for persons under 21 to drive with a positive BAC have reduced impaired-driving fatalities by 4% on average. Per licensed youth driver, these laws cost approximately $30 and yield net savings of $700. Medical care cost savings alone exceed the intervention cost. The primary cost is the value of mobility lost by youth who are forced to reduce their drinking or driving.
  • .08 BAC Law: A well-publicized state law lowering driver BAC limits to .08 can potentially reduce alcohol-related fatalities by an average of 7%. On average, Arizona’s .08 law saves an estimated $41 per licensed driver. The value of mobility losses and alcohol sales reductions resulting from the law are the large majority of the estimated $2.90 cost per licensed driver.
  • Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA): To reduce alcohol-related fatal crashes among youth, Arizona has adopted a MLDA of 21. It saves an estimated $550 per youthful driver. The loss of liquor sales is the large majority of the $160 cost per youthful driver.


Potential Savings From Further Prevention Efforts

A number of additional strategies can mitigate the harm from impaired driving. The following paragraphs estimate the potential savings, in Arizona’s prices, if other proven impaired driving prevention measures were widely implemented in Arizona.

  • Intensive Sobriety Checkpoint Program: Intensive enforcement of Arizona State BAC limits with highly visible sobriety checkpoints would reduce alcohol-related fatalities by at least 15% and save approximately $62,500 per checkpoint. Including police resources, costs of travel delay and the value of mobility losses by impaired drivers apprehended and sanctioned, the costs of conducting a checkpoint average about $8,900.
  • Graduated Licensing: Graduated licensing is a three-stage program that involves a learner’s permit, intermediate (provisional) license, and full licensure. In Arizona, savings amount to an estimated $500 per youthful driver. The value of the mobility lost by youth is a large portion of the estimated $70 cost per youthful driver. 
  • Enforcing Serving Intoxicated Patrons Law: Using undercover police officers to enforce the State law against serving alcohol to intoxicated bar and restaurant patrons would reduce alcohol-related crash fatalities by an estimated 11%. It would cost an estimated $0.30 per licensed driver and save about $20 per licensed driver.
  • Server Training: Server training programs provide education and training to servers of alcoholic beverages with the goal of altering their serving practices to prevent patron intoxication and alcohol-impaired driving. Generally, 40% to 60% of intoxicated patrons drive after consuming alcohol in bars, clubs or restaurants. A statewide, full-day, mandatory, face-to-face server training program with active management support has the potential to reduce nighttime DUI injury crashes by 17%. Implementing such a program costs an estimated $70 per licensed driver and saves about $200 in crash costs per licensed driver.

Interventions Targeting Repeat Offenders

Not many repeat offenders are deterred by broad impaired driving laws. Four alternative sanctioning approaches have proven especially effective at reducing repeat offenses.

  • Automobile Impoundment: Impounding vehicles after conviction for DUI or driving while suspended can decrease recidivism by an estimated 38% and DUI crashes by about 4%. Overall, per vehicle impounded, enforcement of this law would cost Arizona approximately $800 and save on average $4,100. Arizona in 2005 is beginning a pilot program to look into this, and some counties have already started doing so. 
  • Ignition Interlock: Breath- testing ignition interlocks are designed to prevent anyone with a positive BAC from starting or driving a car. Attaching an interlock to a car for a year after its operator is convicted of driving while intoxicated reduce recidivism by an estimated 75% and alcohol-related fatalities by 7%. It would save almost $8,000 per vehicle equipped. Including equipment and case management costs, interlock costs total approximately $960 per vehicle. Arizona uses this system for drivers convicted of extreme DUI, and for second offense convictions.
  • Electronically Monitored House Arrest: Electronic monitoring is an alternative to incarcerating repeat offenders. It provides assurance of an offender’s presence within an assigned area. Monitoring programs attach a device to the wrist or ankle that relays a continuous signal to a computer and also may require offenders to relay a breath test when prompted by a random phone call. Implementation of this program could decrease recidivism by an estimated 31%, causing DUI crashes to decrease by about 3% in Arizona. Per person arrested, the program would cost nearly $1,400 and could avoid an estimated $5,200 in crash costs and almost $1,800 in incarceration costs.
  • Intensive Probation Supervision with Treatment: Intensive probation supervision with treatment is an alternative to incarcerating repeat offenders. This early intervention program seeks to reduce alcohol-impaired driving by addressing repeat offenders’ drinking habits and provides intensive individual counseling and monitoring. Implementation of this program in Arizona could decrease recidivism by an estimated 48%, causing DUI crashes to decrease by 4%. Typically, per person arrested, this program costs approximately $1,200 and can avoid an estimated $5,800 in crash costs and $510 in incarceration costs.

National Driving Under the Influence Statistics

Every 33 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcoholic-related crash.


According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2003, A total of 38,252 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes were recorded in the United States that accounted for 42,643 fatalities. 17,013 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes - an average of one almost every half-hour. This is a three percent decrease from 2002, when 17,524 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes, representing 41 percent of the 43,005 people killed in all traffic crashes. 


Of these crashes, an estimated 40 percent were alcohol related, i.e., at least one driver, pedestrian or pedal cyclist had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.01 grams per deciliter (g/dl) or greater. Alcohol-related crashes accounted for about 40 percent of all fatalities in traffic crashes. About 25 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes had alcohol, i.e., their BAC was 0.01 or greater (0.01+).

Arizona Statistics Total Traffic Deaths Alcohol Related Deaths Percent Alcohol Related
2003 1,120 470 42


About 43 percent of the fatally injured drivers with alcohol were also speeding. This compares to 23 percent of the fatally injured drivers with no alcohol who were also speeding. The median age of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had alcohol is lower than that of drivers without alcohol. The median age of drivers involved in fatal crashes with alcohol is 32 as compared to 39 for drivers involved in fatal crashes without alcohol. 


More than two-thirds of drivers involved in fatal crashes with one or more previous DWI convictions had alcohol. While 3 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were known to have a previous DWI conviction, close to 8 percent of the drivers who had alcohol also had a previous DWI conviction. Also, among the recidivistic drivers with alcohol, more than 90 percent were intoxicated (BAC=0.08+). About 37 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes who had any alcohol were also involved in a rollover crash as compared to 15 percent of drivers who were involved in a rollover crash and did not have any alcohol. Fatally injured passengers who were riding with a driver with alcohol were likely to be in the same age group as the driver. About 36 percent of all non-occupants who died in traffic crashes had alcohol (BAC=0.01+).


An estimated 1.5 million people were arrested. In fact, the average American has a 30 percent chance of being killed or injured by an impaired driver during their lifetime. And while the number of alcohol-related fatalities are at an all-time low, impaired driving is still a leading cause of death for people under the age of 30.

  2003 2001-2003
State Total Fatalities Total Killed in Crashes Involving a Driver above a .15 BAC

Total Fatalities

Total Killed in Crashes Involving a Driver above a .15 BAC
Arizona Number Number Percent Number Number Percent
1,083 210 19 3,211 659 21


What Is Impaired Driving and Who Is At Risk?


The phrase "drunk driving," while still common in everyday language and completely understandable, is not used as a legal term since many drivers who are part of the problem do not exhibit visible outward signs of drunkenness. "Impaired driving" in general means driving while abilities are impaired by alcohol or drugs. "Driving while intoxicated" (DWI) or "Driving under the influence" (DUI) means driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

All drivers risk impairment when consuming alcohol or drugs--whether legal, over-the-counter and prescription medications or illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine or other illicit drugs. Make the right choice--don't drink and drive. Yet, we know that thousands of Americans every year continue to make the wrong choices. Impaired Drivers come in all ages, genders and backgrounds.


Related Links


Additional Resources



Arizona provides for great motorcycle riding opportunities year-round. Safety should be the first concern while enjoying our beautiful and scenic state.


Every year the Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigates many collisions involving motorcycles:

  • 2015: 814 collisions investigated, 41 were fatal collisions
  • 2016: 792 collisions investigated, 32 were fatal collisions
  • 2017: Year to date 284 collisions investigated, 18 were fatal collisions.

A safe riding experience doesn’t just happen. Motorcyclists must do their part to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.


  • Always wear a helmet! A helmet can save your life if you are involved in a collision. In 2016, half of the motorcycle riders involved in a fatal collision were not wearing a helmet.
  • Wear protective clothing such as gloves, boots, and long pants, to protect you in case of a collision. Road rash is painful!
  • Wear eye protection. A bug, or road debris in your eye is not only painful but can lead to a collision and serious injuries.
  • Drive defensively! Never assume that a car will see you. Almost two thirds of the collisions are caused by a driver not noticing a motorcycle. Watch out for them!
  • Be visible. Use your headlight, even during daylight hours.
  • Know your bike. Be familiar with the controls. Be familiar with how the bike operates.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course. Before riding out onto the open road learn the rules and the safe operation of your bike.
  • Plan your trip and know the road and weather conditions before you ride out.
  • Make sure your bike is in top condition. Check the tires, brakes, oil, brake and clutch cables, and the chain/drive.



In 2016, the number one cause of motorcycle collisions was speed, followed closely by failing to remain within the proper lane and failing to yield right of way. Obeying Arizona traffic law is critical for a safe ride.


In addition to all the state traffic laws, Arizona has laws specific for motorcycles:
  • ARS 28-903 has three parts. The first part lets motorists know they cannot deprive the use of a lane to a motorcycle. The second part is a motorcyclist shall not pass another vehicle in the same lane of traffic and the motorcyclist shall not split traffic lanes. The third is motorcyclists shall not ride more than two abreast in traffic.
  • ARS 28-964 states that anyone younger than 18 years of age shall wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. It also requires that the motorcyclist wear glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield while operating a motorcycle. It further addresses required equipment on a motorcycle such as a rear-view mirror and a secure seat and footrests for both driver and passenger.
  • ARS 28-955.01 and 28-955.02 deal with the exhaust system and noise level of a motorcycle.
  • ARS 28-892 states that the motorcycle shall have a seat for the driver and requires that there must be a seat for a passenger.
  • ARS 28-924.B requires headlamps on a motorcycle.
  • ARS 28-3101 requires a motorcycle endorsement (Class M) to operate a motorcycle in the state.


Motorcycle safety is everyone’s business, not just motorcyclists. Of the 32-fatal motorcycle collision in 2016:
  • 17 involved another vehicle
  • 2 another motorcycle
  • 13 were single motorcycle collision


Many collisions, or near collisions, can be avoided if motorcyclists and car drivers remember the following:
  • Always check before changing lanes or turning. Consider the possibility that a car or motorcycle may be in your blind spot.
  • Always use caution when passing.
  • Always use a turn signal. Let traffic around you know what you are doing.
  • Be extra vigilant at an intersection.
  • When turning left, take an extra look before turning. Approximately 40% of motorcycle collisions are caused by a vehicle turning left in front of a motorcycle.
  • Increase following distance. Do not tailgate. A motorcycle stops much faster than a car. Be aware of your surroundings and do not drive distracted. Driving a car or motorcycle requires full attention to be safe.
  • Roads conditions that may to be a problem for a car can be a big problem for motorcycles. Do not follow too close and be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Be courteous and remember that motorcycles and cars have the same right to be on the road.



In late 2005, a new law went into effect referred to as the "Move Over" law (ARS §28-775 E-1-2). The law was drafted as a result of the increase in the number of injuries and fatalities to those working to protect the public - police officers and emergency personnel.


The "Move Over" law gets its name from the idea of having drivers safely merge to an adjacent lane on highways with two or more lanes proceeding in the same direction when police or emergency personnel are stopped near or on the road. The law recognizes that sometimes it is not possible or the second lane just does not exist to move over. Those situations call for reduced speeds and proceeding with extreme caution.


Having the safety margin protects police officers and emergency personnel and reduces your risk of causing a deadly collision. Please take the time to read this page and learn to drive safer and ensure compliance with the "Move Over" law.


Arizona Revised Statute §28-775 E-1-2


If a person who drives a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle and the stationary vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing lights or is displaying warning lights, the person shall do either of the following:


  1. If on a highway having at least four lanes with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle, proceed with due caution and if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle.
  2. If changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.



To prevent the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and other dangerous and narcotic drugs, Arizona law regulates the sale of defined precursor and regulated chemicals. Arizona law requires the reporting of certain transactions involving these chemicals. If you are involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale or transfer of any of these chemicals, you should be familiar with those statutes that affect your company. Listed below is a brief outline of the statute; additional information can be obtained by viewing the below Arizona Statutes:

  • ARS 13-3401: Definitions
  • ARS 13-3404: Sale of precursor or regulated chemicals; report; exemptions; violation; classification


Diversion of methamphetamine manufacturing items can occur many ways:

  • Theft of the substance 
  • A customer purchases the substance repeatedly on the same day or within a few days. 
  • Customers, who are part of a group, each of whom purchases the substance. 
  • Customers who go from register to register purchasing the product at each register.


Meth lab operators know what stores they can purchase or steal the most precursor or regulated chemicals from without being discovered. Don't let your store be one of these! In fact, if your business has an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit, then you are required under their regulations "to maintain effective controls against the diversion of precursor chemicals to unauthorized persons or entities" (A.R.S. 32-1932.A.9). Failure to do so can result in "a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each offense and deny, suspend or revoke any permit… or place a permittee on probation (A.R.S. 32-1932.A). 


Here are some suggestions to prevent diversion. These are only suggestions and are not required to be done by law. Doing any of these actions DOES NOT eliminate the store's responsibility to submit required reports to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.


  • Keep the product behind the counter (customer service, register, pharmacy, back room, etc.). This decreases the possibility of theft of the product, allows you to monitor and control the sale of the product, and decreases the likelihood of meth lab operators asking for the product. 
  • Ask for identification of all who want to purchase the product. Those who want to divert the product do not want to be identified and thus are less likely to come to your place of business to do so. 
  • Limit the amount of product that can be purchased at one time. Meth lab operators want to obtain as much product as they can. By having a store policy that limits the amount of product that can be purchased during one transaction, this can severely limit their ability to do divert from your store. Most will try to get the product from other stores that do not have limits. Limiting the quantity of product sold is ineffective if the person is allowed to purchase the limit at each of the stores registers. 
  • Provide training on the precursor chemical laws, the reporting requirement, how to identify precursor chemicals and how to identify a suspicious transaction to all store employees.

Arizona law identifies the following categories affected by these reporting statutes:

  • A Manufacturer means you manufacture any narcotic or dangerous drug or any other substance controlled by these regulations.
  • A Wholesaler means, if in the course of business, you lawfully supply narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, precursor chemicals or regulated chemicals that you did not manufacture yourself. You supply those substances to others for purposes other than personal use or consumption. A wholesaler also includes a person who sells, delivers, or dispenses a precursor chemical in an amount or under circumstances that would require your registration as a distributor of precursor chemicals under the Federal Act. This category applies whether you have an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit or not. Out of state wholesalers must have an Arizona Board of Pharmacy permit and must sell only to persons with permits. This restriction also applies to internet sellers.
  • A Retailer means you are a person other than a practitioner (a person licensed to prescribe and administer drugs) who sells any precursor or regulated chemical to another person for purposes of personal consumption and not resale. This category applies whether you have an Arizona Board of Pharmacy permit or not. This category also applies to you if you are not a manufacturer or wholesaler, but you receive or acquire more than twenty-four (24) grams of pseudoephedrine or more than two ounces of iodine.


Reporting Requirements

A manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person who sells, transfers or otherwise furnishes any precursor or regulated chemical to any person in this state shall submit a "Precursor and Regulated Chemical Report" to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. This report shall be submitted not less than twenty-one (21) days before delivery of the substance, unless an exemption has been granted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety allowing a monthly report for repeated, regular transactions. A manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person who receives a precursor or regulated chemical from a source outside of this state shall submit a report of such transaction.


Reporting Exceptions

Reporting requirements do not apply to the following:

  • The sale, transfer or furnishing of ordinary ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, (-) norpseudo- ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine products (See A.R.S. 13-3401.22 for definition).
  • The sale for personal use of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, (-) norpseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine products totaling four packages or less. 
  • The sale, transfer or furnishing of a precursor or regulated chemical by a wholesaler or manufacturer if both parties to the transaction possess a valid and current Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit and a valid and current Precursor Chemical I List Distributor Registration issued pursuant to the Federal Act.
  • The sale, transfer, or furnishing to or by any practitioner or any pharmacist acting pursuant to a prescription.
  • The sale, transfer or furnishing of iodine in an amount of two ounces or less by weight; to a licensed or permitted wholesaler, health care facility, pharmacy or practitioner; or as a tincture of iodine or topical solution of iodine.
  • The sale, transfer or furnishing to or by a hospital, long-term health care provider or managed health care provider or any other licensed or permitted health care provider that administers or dispenses Precursor Chemical I medication under the supervision of a practitioner.
  • The movement from one facility of a licensee or permittee to another facility of the same licensee or permittee without sale.
  • The sale, transfer or furnishing of dietary supplements if all the requirements under 13-3404.I.6 are applicable.


Suspicious Transaction Reports

Any manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person who sells, transfers or otherwise furnishes any precursor or regulated chemical to any person in this state in a suspicious transaction shall report the event in writing on the Arizona Department of Public Safety Precursor and Regulated Chemical Program's Suspicious Transaction Record, form.


A suspicious transaction means all transactions involving circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that any person is attempting to possess a precursor or regulated chemical for the purpose of unlawful manufacture of a dangerous or narcotic drug, based on such factors as the amount involved, the method of payment, the method of delivery and any past dealings with any participant. In addition, all transactions involving payment for a precursor or regulated chemical in cash or money order in a total amount of more than $200 and all transactions involving the sale, transfer or furnishing to a retailer for resale without a prescription of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, (-)-norpseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine that is not an ordinary product are required to be reported.


The following are factors which may suggest a suspicious transaction. There may be a legitimate explanation for a purchase that presents one or more of these factors. The list is presented as a guide to instruct retailers and their employees as to which transactions may be suspicious.

  • Customers who attempt to purchase the transaction limit of a precursor or regulated chemical.
  • Customers who are part of a group, each of whom purchases a precursor or regulated chemical.
  • Customers who purchase a precursor or regulated chemical repeatedly on the same day or within a few days.
  • Customers who buy other methamphetamine processing products at the same time as the precursor or regulated chemical or purchase three or more of the following products in combination: (alcohol, Coleman fuel, acetone, road flares, drain cleaners, tincture of iodine, muriatic acid, rock salt, starting fluid (ether), coffee filters, large amounts of matches, etc.)


Theft & Loss Precursor or Regulated Chemicals

The theft, disappearance or loss of any Precursor Chemical II or Regulated Chemical, or the excessive or unusual loss of any Precursor Chemical I, shall be reported in writing on the "Suspicious Transaction Record" form within three (3) days of discovery.


In addition, any difference between the quantity of any Precursor Chemical II or Regulated Chemical received and the quantity shipped, or any excessive or unusual loss of any Precursor Chemical I shipped shall be reporting in writing on the "Suspicious Transaction Record" form within three (3) days of actual knowledge of the discrepancy. Reports shall include the name of the common carrier or person who transported the substance and the date of shipment.


Submission of Reports

The "Precursor and Regulated Chemical Report" forms and the "Suspicious Transaction Record" forms are available forms are available on this website.

Completed forms can be mailed to the ACTIC Watch Center , Arizona Department of Public Safety, Mail Drop 3900, P.O. Box 6638, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6638 ; or faxed to 602-644-8718; or E-Mailed to [email protected].


Record keeping

Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers or other persons who sell, transfer or otherwise furnish any precursor or regulated chemical to any person in the state shall maintain copies of the completed forms stored at the business for not less than two years. Records shall be open for inspection and replication by any peace officer in the performance of their duties.


Precursor and Regulated Chemical Report


Suspicious Transaction Record



According to A.R.S. 13-3404.N, any person, employee or retailer that keeps or files a record as prescribed by the precursor and regulated chemical laws or that communicates or discloses information or records under this law is not liable to its customer, a state or local agency or any person for any loss or damage caused in whole or in part by the making, filing or governmental use of the report or any information contained in that report.



It is a felony for a person to knowingly:

  • Fail to submit reports, as required.
  • Fail to maintain records, as required.
  • Furnish false information or omit information in any report or record.
  • Participated in any transactions that are structured with the intent to avoid the filing of any required report under 13-3404.
  • Cause another person to furnish false information or to omit any information in any report or record that is required by this section.


Additional Resources



Buckle up, it may save your life.

Traffic-related injuries are the leading cause of all injury deaths in America. Every nine seconds, someone is injured in a traffic crash and every 13 minutes someone is killed. Research shows that many part-time and non-belt users fear of a citation and significant fine outweighs their fear of being injured or killed when unbelted in a crash. Every hour someone dies in America simply because they didn’t buckle up.  Failure to buckle up contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior. Despite terrible traffic problems such as aggressive driving, increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on America’s roadways.


Protecting Kids

Adults who don’t buckle up are sending children a deadly message that it is all right not to wear a seat belt. Children will model adult behavior. In addition, research shows that if a driver is unbuckled, 70 percent of the time children riding in that vehicle won’t be buckled either.


Data suggests that education alone is not doing the job with young people, especially males ages 16 to 25 – the age group least likely to buckle up. They simply do not believe they will be injured or killed. Yet they are the nation’s highest-risk drivers, with more drunk driving, more speeding, and more crashes. Neither education nor fear of injury or death is strong enough to motivate this tough-to-reach group. Rather, it takes stronger seat belt laws and high visibility enforcement campaigns to get them to buckle up.


Motor vehicle crashes and injuries sustained in the crash, are the leading cause of death of children in the United States.  In 2015, 35% of children that died in collisions were not properly buckled up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Protecting child passengers is your responsibility and it is the law. Read Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-907A to read the entire child seat law.


Protect child passengers by:

  • Always using child seats, booster seats and seat belts properly according to ARS 28-907A
  • Follow the instructions found in the owner’s manual for child seats and booster seats
  • Setting the example by properly wearing your own seat belt.


Saving Lives

Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. Yet only 68 percent of the motor vehicle occupants are buckled. In 1996, more than 60 percent of the occupants killed in fatal crashes were unrestrained. If 90 percent of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually.


Saving Dollars

The cost of unbuckled drivers and passengers goes beyond those killed and the loss to their families. We all pay for those who don’t buckle up – in higher taxes, higher health care and higher insurance costs.


On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are 50 percent higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.


By reaching the goal of 90 percent seat belt use, and 25 percent reduction in child fatalities by the year 2005, we will save $8.8 billion annually.


Everyone is Part of the Plan

Buckle Up America is a broad, public-private partnership of community and health groups, safety advocates, businesses, law enforcement, legislators, public officials and concerned citizens. These partners realize that seat belts and child safety seats save lives and money. And because everyone is affected when others ride unbuckled, everyone must be a part of the solution.



States with secondary enforcement laws average only 63 percent belt use. But states with primary (standard) enforcement seat belt laws average 78 percent belt use – 15 percentage points higher. Currently, only 13 states and the District of Columbia have primary seat belt enforcement laws. Everyone would agree that protecting lives with seat belts is at least as important as a broken tail light or littering. Yet, while virtually every state has primary laws that allow law enforcement officers to stop and ticket a violator for having a broken tail light or for tossing trash out the window, not all states have primary laws for seat belt use.


State laws should explicitly require children to be in age- and size-appropriate child safety seats or seat belts. But many states currently have “gaps” in child passenger safety laws – holes that leave certain aged children vulnerable in certain seating positions. States should close these gaps to protect all children in all seating positions.


High Visibility

Enforcement Research shows that high visibility enforcement works because, with many part-time and non-belt users, the fear of a citation and significant fine outweighs their fear of being injured or killed in a crash. When asked whether they support primary enforcement laws – laws that give the police the authority to stop and ticket an unbuckled driver just as they do other routine violations of the law like littering or driving with a broken tail light – the public overwhelming supports stronger laws. (Source: Public Opinion Strategies, July 1997)


During the past four years, when no new state laws were enacted and no widespread enforcement efforts were undertaken, national seat belt use has remained at just under 68 percent. But in those places that implemented high visibility enforcement programs, seat belt use rates increased dramatically.



Trucks are Not Large Cars - When trucks accelerate, brake, climb a hill, switch lanes, or turn, the tractor-trailers must perform certain maneuvers with which car drivers are generally not familiar. The bigger the truck, the bigger the blind spot, the more room it needs to maneuver, the longer it takes to stop and the more likely that you are going to be the loser in a collision.


Consider the following:

  • Only Pull In Front of a Truck When You See the Whole Truck in Your Mirror - Because of their size and weight, trucks need a much greater distance to stop than cars. If you don't' give the driver enough space, you run the risk of being hit from behind.
  • Give Trucks Room When Passing - Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to manage their turns because the vehicle is so large. When they do, they cannot see cars directly behind them.
  • Give Trucks Time to Pick Up Speed - A truck may have 2-3 times more power under the hood than a car, but it must pull 30-40 times more weight than a car engine. The truck may have to go through ten gears to reach the speed limit.
  • Give Trucks Room to Stop - A car traveling at 55 MPH can stop in 133 feet; a loaded tractor-trailer takes 196 feet to stop. That's almost 50% more distance than a car needs.
  • Avoid Entering the Truck's Blind Spots - Unlike autos, trucks have deep blind spots directly behind them. If you tailgate, not only do you make it impossible for the truck driver to see you, but you also cut off your own view of traffic flow. Trucks also have blind spots on both sides of them. When you travel in these areas, you cannot be seen by the truck driver.


Facts About Commercial Vehicle Crashes
  • In 9 out of 10 fatal crashes between cars and trucks, the occupants of the car are killed.
  • The car driver is cited about twice as often as the truck driver for reckless behavior in crashes involving large trucks.
  • In almost two-thirds of fatal crashes, the impact point is at the front of the truck, suggesting that most fatal crashes are within the forward field of view of the truck driver.


Share the Road is a CVSA community outreach program that is aimed at high school students with a focus on driving behavior around commercial vehicles. In 2016, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement taught over 4,600 students the “Share the Road” program.


What to Do When Pulled Over by Law Enforcement
  • Law Enforcement officers are responsible for conducting traffic stops when they have reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or a criminal violation. So knowing what to do during the stop will help ensure your safety and the safety of others, since being stopped by an officer can be a stressful experience for all those involved.


Click for information on what to do when pulled over by Law Enforcement.



Law Enforcement officers are responsible for conducting traffic stops when they have reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or a criminal violation.


Being stopped by an officer can be a stressful experience for the driver, any passengers, and for the officer, too. Knowing what to do during the stop will help ensure the safety of the driver and the safety of others.



When you see emergency lights behind you, it is important for you and your passengers to stay calm and cooperate.

Remember to:

  • Activate your turn signal and pull off or to the side of the roadway as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Turn off the engine and any audio devices.
  • Stay in your vehicle unless directed by the officer to exit.
  • Turn on your interior lights if you are pulled over at night to assist with visibility. Officers may use a spotlight for additional visibility.
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel or in a visible location so they are easily observable.
  • Follow all instructions the officer gives you or your passengers.



Arizona is known for its diverse, beautiful landscapes and weather. For this reason, Arizona is a known travel destination year-round. Arizona summers see a particularly high volume of people traveling to different parts of the state to enjoy the beautiful weather. There are several tips and resources to help ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable. Many of the highway incidents across the state can be avoided if drivers will take the proper steps prior to and during their travel.


Have all of your car’s electronic, electrical and mechanical systems inspected and/or serviced. Existing defects are going to be put through increased stress during long-distance travel, extreme heat and inclement weather.


Here are some things we recommend doing before you travel:


Inspect Vehicle and Tires
  • Check your tires. Your tires should be properly inflated and not worn out. A simple inspection can bring a tire issue to your attention before travel. If you aren’t sure what to look for, most tire shops offer free inspections.
  • Did you know your tires have an expiration date? Most vehicle manufacturers recommend tire replacement after six years. Each new tire has a Tire Identification Number (TIN). Learn more about how to read your tires TIN.
  • A study conducted by the National Traffic Safety Highway Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about nine percent of the estimated total crashes, were “tire related.”
  • Did you know you can increase your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated? U.S. Department of Energy says you can improve your gas mileage up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
  • If you sustain tire failure, continue to look in the direction you want to travel and smoothly steer in that direction until you regain control of your vehicle.
  • Do not steer, brake or decelerate abruptly. 


Inspect Fluids and Equipment
  • Leaky Hoses
  • Coolant Levels
  • Engine Oil
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Battery (extreme heat is tough on batteries)
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wipers
  • Air Conditioner
  • Fuel Gauge
  • Tires


Plan Properly Before Traveling
  • Check weather conditions
  • Check for road closures or traffic delays: az511.com or dial 5-1-1
  • Select an appropriate route with weather, traffic and terrain in mind
  • Always top off your gas tank in case of unanticipated weather or traffic related road closures
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you will return
  • Many new Smart Phone Apps also display traffic conditions (have passengers in your vehicle monitor this)
  • Don’t rely solely on GPS or navigation applications, they can lead you to dangerous or non-existent roadways


Critical Supplies in your Vehicle

Failure to carry these items could lead to critical health consequences.

  • One gallon of water per occupant per day
  • Food and baby formula sufficient for at least 24-hours
  • Prescription medication for at least 24-hours
  • Toiletries / diapers
  • Mobile phone and an extra fully charged power supply
  • Hot/Cold and wet weather gear
  • Make sure someone else knows your route of travel
What to do if you Break Down on a Highway
  • Call 911 and let us law enforcement know where you are stranded
  • Call 911 if someone is stopped/stranded on the highway and tell DPS where they are
  • Drive completely off of the highway when possible
  • Drive to an emergency lane or dirt shoulder when possible
  • Do not leave your vehicle on the highway – Call 911 to report
  • Do not walk along the highway – Call 911 to report
  • Do not stop in the middle of a gore point or gore area
  • Do not stop within a traffic lane
  • Click here for more information on roadside assistance

Make sure you and your passengers are all properly restrained.


During summer months, temperatures in the Arizona desert can reach or exceed 100 degrees every day. Sunset does not bring immediate relief as temperatures will hover around 100 degrees well into nighttime hours. During early summer, the climate is very dry. From early July to early September, temperatures remain hot and humidity increases, inviting dust storms and monsoons. You, your passengers and your vehicle need to be ready for the unique challenges of driving in these extreme conditions.

Before You Travel
  • Plan your travel route in advance.
  • Notify someone of your route, destination and projected arrival time.
  • Fill your fuel tank and try to keep it at three-quarters full. Running out of gas — especially in a remote location — is extremely dangerous in extreme heat.
  • Visit az511.gov or dial 511 for updated road and weather conditions. However, never use a cell phone or mobile device while driving.


Preparing Your Vehicle

Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition. Having a vehicle breakdown in extreme heat can be very dangerous, especially if you try to repair your vehicle yourself (which causes exertion) or if you must wait for help to arrive.

  • Heat can zap your battery. Make sure your battery is up to par and has enough fluid. Consider having it tested, especially if it's three or more years old. Replace it if necessary.
  • Check coolant levels and top them off if needed. If coolant needs to be flushed and replaced, do so before your trip begins. Note: Never remove the radiator cap while your engine is hot!
  • Top off vital engine fluids such as motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power-steering fluid.
  • The combination of under-inflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout. Check your tire pressure. It should be at the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Make sure your vehicle's air conditioning system is functioning properly.


Must Haves For Every Vehicle

Never drive in extreme heat without a fully-charged cell phone and extra drinking water for all passengers, including pets. Other must-haves include these items:

  • A cooler to keep extra drinking water cold (Consider adding several frozen bottles of water to use for cooling off or to thaw and drink if needed.
  • An umbrella for shade.
  • Sunscreen
  • A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing to provide protection from sunburn.
  • Necessary prescribed medication(s) and pain relievers.
  • A first-aid kit.
  • A flashlight with extra batteries.
  • A travel tool kit and battery cables.
  • Safety flares
  • Extra radiator water.
  • Healthy snacks.
  • A road map.
  • Make sure your vehicle's air conditioning system is functioning properly.


Crashes or Other Situations Requiring Emergency Assistance
  • Dial 911
  • If possible, move the vehicle out the travel lanes into a safe area.
  • Try to find shade for everyone; stay out of direct sunlight.
  • Attend to all medical needs in a safe, shaded place if possible; also, find a safe place to call for roadside assistance.
  • If your vehicle becomes nonoperational, raising the front hood and activating its flashing "hazard lights" signal to other drivers and emergency responders that it is disabled.


Stalled or Stopped Vehicles
  • Call for assistance right away to reduce your wait time.
  • Keep your vehicle in a shaded area if possible and run the air conditioner (A/C). If the A/C is not working, roll down all the windows.
  • DRINK WATER. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays hydrated.
  • Without air conditioning, the temperature inside a stopped vehicle can rise to a dangerous (even deadly) level rather quickly. If temperatures inside the vehicle become too hot, carefully exit all passengers, including pets. Seek out or create a shaded area as far away from the travel lanes as possible.
  • Raise the front hood of the vehicle and turn on flashing "hazard lights”.


Exiting Your Vehicle
  • Use caution! The road surface will be hot and can burn skin. Keep shoes on; carry pets or otherwise keep their paws off the hot asphalt.
  • DRINK WATER. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays hydrated.
  • Be alert to the hazards of moving traffic.
  • Do not stand in travel lanes. Many Arizona roadways have wide shoulders, so use the extra space to create a safe distance between moving traffic and you, your passengers and your vehicle.
  • Find or create shade for all passengers, including pets. Keep everyone out of direct sunlight. If pets are in carriers, keep them in the shade and be sure carriers have ample ventilation.
  • Protect passengers from sunburn; apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and put on loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing.

Monsoon season begins mid-June and ends September 30th, bringing with it some beautiful, but often unpredictable potentially dangerous weather conditions. From heavy rain causing slick roads and low visibility to large dust storms causing near blackout conditions on the highways – monsoon driving can be extremely dangerous. Monsoon storms can come and go quickly so it is best to check the weather along your travel route prior to hitting the road. Wait out the storm, remember they often pass by very quickly, so you can get back on the road safely in little time. Your safety is worth it.


Here are some suggestions for driving on wet roads or during a dust storm. For general travel safety advice and tips please visit the TIPS tab.

PullAsideStayAlive dust storm safety flyer
  • Immediately check traffic around your vehicle, (front, back, sides) and begin slowing down.
  • Completely exit the highway if you can. Do not wait until poor visibility to pull off the roadway.
  • DO NOT STOP in a travel lane or emergency lane. Pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights. You don’t want others to follow you by using your lights as a guide.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake
  • Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelts buckled.
  • Be patient, wait for the storm to pass.
  • Visit Pull Aside-Stay Alive

Make sure you and your passengers are all properly restrained

Pull Aside and Stay Alive!

Rain doesn't happen very often in Arizona, but it is important to always be prepared for wet weather conditions.

  • Don’t fool yourself with your wet weather skills.
  • Make sure your tires have plenty of tread. If you are not sure, take your car to a tire shop.
  • Double your following and stopping distance.
  • Drive below the speed limit – slow down and be patient.
  • If you feel your vehicle hydroplaning through feedback from your steering wheel, that means you are traveling too fast.
  • Use headlights and tail lights.
  • The roadway will be slippery; during rainfall the oils from the road rise to the surface.
  • Have wet weather gear in your car.
  • DO NOT drive around road closed signs. If you do and require rescue, you can be cited for Arizona’s Stupid Motorist Law The driver is responsible for the cost of rescue.

Northern Arizona is prone to extreme winter conditions and is very popular amongst travelers during the winter months. Whether you are visiting Northern Arizona, or you are a resident, it is important to follow the National Weather Service's alerts. The National Weather Service issues advisories, warning advisories and warnings for winter weather. Understanding the difference between the three is crucial for the winter season.


In ice and snow, take it slow!

Winter Storm Advisory

  • Wintery weather is expected; EXERCISE CAUTION!
    • Light amounts of wintery precipitation or patchy blowing snow will cause slick conditions and could affect travel if precautions are not taken.

Winter Storm Watch

  • Snow, sleet or ice is possible; BE PREPARED!
    • Confidence is medium that a winter storm could produce heavy snow, sleet or freezing rain and cause significant impacts.

Winter Storm Warning

  • Snow, sleet or ice is expected; TAKE ACTION!
    • Confidence is high that a winter storm will produce heavy snow, sleet or freezing rain and cause significant impacts.
Is your car packed for winter travel?
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Water
  • Winter clothing/blankets
  • Prescribed medication
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Ice scraper
  • A small bag of sand or cat litter for wheel traction
  • Compact shovel for snow removal
  • Travel tool kit and battery cables
  • Safety flares
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Road map


Driving Safety Tips:
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • "Don't crowd the plow" - Give snow plows plenty of room; they move slower, but they are there to ensure your safety on the roadway ahead.
  • Watch for black ice - Use extra caution when approaching bridges, intersections, off-ramps and shady areas.
  • Keep a minimum of 2/3 of gas in your tank to prevent freezing.
  • Don't pull over on the freeway to play in the snow, this causes a severe hazard to you and other motorists.
  • Notify someone of your planned travel route.
  • Check road conditions and weather alerts.
  • Use snow tires, chains or studded tires. Studded tires are permitted on Arizona highways from Oct. 1 to May 1.
  • Don't overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding. In addition, do not slam on the brakes if your car begins to slide.
  • Avoid cruise control in wet weather.


Snow Play

Highway shoulders are for emergency parking only, not a parking spot to get out and play in the snow.

  • Safety hazard to other motorists, emergency vehicles and snow plows.
  • Big distraction to other vehicles.
  • Other vehicles may be more inclined to also stop which would escalade the problem.


Black Ice

Black ice forms when it's raining and the air is at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating ice. Sleet and the refreezing of snow or water can generate black ice.


Key Terms
  • Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground; creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
  • Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Wind Chill: A measure of how cold people feel due to the combined effect of wind and cold temperatures; the Wind Chill Index is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin. Both cold temperatures and wind remove heat from the body; as the wind speed increases during cold conditions, a body loses heat more quickly. Eventually, the internal body temperature also falls and hypothermia can develop. Animals also feel the effects of wind chill; but inanimate objects, such as vehicles and buildings, do not. They will only cool to the actual air temperature, although much faster during windy conditions.