PHOENIX ‒ Extra drinking water for you and your passengers, including pets. An umbrella for shade. A fully charged cellphone.
It’s always important to make sure that you and your vehicle are ready for the possibility of becoming stranded on the highway, but the need is even more critical in times of extreme heat. Being ready begins with – but isn’t limited to – making sure you have the items above when starting a trip, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
If you must spend extended time on the highway due to a breakdown or some other reason for delay, you’ll need sun protection. In addition to an umbrella, take sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat and wear loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing.
Keep your tank at three-quarters full. Running out of gas, especially in a remote location, is dangerous in extreme heat.
Take a cooler to keep extra drinking water cold, and consider adding several frozen bottles of water to use for cooling off or to thaw and drink if needed.
If your vehicle breaks down in extreme heat, call for assistance right away to reduce wait time, and run the AC. If the AC isn’t working, roll down all windows.
Other recommendations if you are stranded along the highway in extreme heat:
- DRINK WATER. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays hydrated.
- If the temperature inside the vehicle becomes too hot, everyone, including pets, should exit carefully and seek out or create a shaded area as far away from the travel lanes as possible.
- Be careful walking on the road surface, which can be hot enough to burn skin. Keep your shoes on and try to keep your pets’ paws off the pavement.
- Raise the front hood and turn on hazard lights.
- You can help avoid breakdowns and blowouts by making sure your vehicle is in good operating condition. Check your air conditioner and coolant levels, top off any vital engine fluids and make sure your battery is up to par. Check your tire pressure, as the combination of underinflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout.
More ADOT tips for traveling in extreme heat are available at azdot.gov/extreme-heat.