There's good news if you're among the thousands of drivers planning to head out along state highways over the Labor Day weekend, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. That's because ADOT is following tradition by not scheduling any construction-related closures over what is expected to be a busy travel weekend in Arizona and across the country.
Drivers are still reminded to “expect the unexpected” and understand that they may encounter unscheduled closures due to crashes or other incidents. ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommend packing extra supplies, including drinking water, in case of an unscheduled restriction.
Some existing work zones will remain in place and drivers are urged to use caution in areas where speed limits are reduced to enhance safety.
Last year saw a significant increase in fatal crashes along state highways and local roads over the Labor Day weekend. Here’s a listing of Labor Day weekend fatal crash figures in Arizona over the past five years:
2012: 17 fatalities, total of 14 fatal crashes
2011: 8 fatalities, total of 7 fatal crashes
2010: 11 fatalities, total of 9 fatal crashes
2009: 7 fatalities, total of 5 fatal crashes
2008: 19 fatalities, total of 14 fatal crashes
Driver behavior is the key factor in maintaining highway safety. In addition to buckling up and never drinking and driving, motorists are urged to obey speed limits, avoid distractions and exercise patience while out on the road. Getting a good night's rest before traveling and checking your vehicle, including tire pressure, are other safety steps that drivers should take. You should also be prepared for possible changes in weather conditions.
Before starting out on a trip, drivers are encouraged to check on highway conditions at ADOT's Travel Information site at az511.gov or by calling 5-1-1 from within the state and 888-411-ROAD from outside the state.