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What Are Normal Driving Conditions in Arizona During Winter?

Drivers in other parts of the country need to change their driving style significantly during the winter. Fortunately for Arizona residents, the weather does not change too much during this time of year. When driving in Arizona, you generally do not have to worry about unexpectedly finding snow on roadways. However, there are a few things to be aware of, and you should take caution if you plan on driving to another state for the holidays.

Normal Driving Conditions

Normal driving conditions refer to when you drive on a standard roadway when there is minimal traffic on the road. It is when you are moving along at a normal pace and not constantly applying the brakes. It is what you should be used to.

For the most part in Arizona, people do not have to worry about things changing too much during winter. However, there are parts of the state that do get some snowfall during the winter. The Phoenix area and western Arizona typically do not see any snow, but some areas, such as Prescott, can see as much as 12 inches of snow annually. The part of Arizona that sees the most amount of snow each year is Flagstaff, which can sometimes get over 100 inches of snow annually. You may need to put snow chains on your tires if you plan on driving to northern Arizona.

Another example of normal Arizona driving conditions is infrequent driving. If you avoid driving constantly, then you will not need to take your vehicle into maintenance too often. During the winter, there may not be a need to hit the road every day. If you have time off work, then you can stay at home more often. Consider using public transportation or taking the bike to standard excursions around town. You can break out the car when you have a big trip to take.

Severe Driving Conditions

A few severe driving conditions include being in constant stop-and-go traffic or having to tow heavy loads. Phoenix residents have definitely encountered stop-and-go traffic at one point or another. Things can get a little hectic in the city. It is a part of the life of driving in Arizona. However, these conditions can take a toll on your car over time, so during the holidays, it can be good to get out of the city for a while where it is nothing but smooth sailing.

Towing heavy loads can also degrade a vehicle. Many people choose to go camping during the winter, so you may need to haul a trailer to bring the essentials with you. After you return from your trip, detach any trailers posthaste. You should also keep the load inside your vehicle relatively light. Only carry essential items in your car. Some crucial items to keep in a car in the event of emergencies include:

  • Bottled water
  • Tire chains
  • Jumper cables
  • Small tools
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extra pair of clothes
  • Essential medications

Another severe driving condition is driving in extreme cold or heat. During the winter, you have to worry about the former. In Phoenix, daytime temperatures usually get around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures can get to around 40 degrees. In some parts of Arizona, it can actually get below freezing. You need to be aware of the temperature you are driving in because driving in extreme temperatures is going to take a heavier toll on your vehicle and will require maintenance more often.

One potential problem is that motor oil can thicken. This makes it more difficult for the engine to start up. Cold weather can also make the exhaust system rust if you are not careful.

Drive More Efficiently with the Help of Sun Devil Auto

Arizona driving conditions can vary greatly depending on how much you drive and where exactly in the state you need to drive to. Before it gets too cold outside, take your vehicle into Sun Devil Auto to get it serviced. We have locations in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale and other cities within the greater Phoenix area, so no matter where you live, you can schedule an appointment with us by calling your nearest Sun Devil Auto service center.