If you make your home in Maricopa County, there is no doubt that you realize how hot it has been this week. Unfortunately, today is going to be the coolest day over the next week and a half and it is still expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Everywhere you turn, people are looking for ways to cool down and to catch a break from this heat that is not only oppressive but is also downright dangerous to human health.
Officials in the State of Arizona expect a larger than typical number of motorists to take to the roadways this weekend and to head north, out of the Valley and away from the worst of the heat. Odds are high that Flagstaff could see a large influx of people this weekend due in part to the horrendous Phoenix weather but also due to the fact that Flagstaff is hosting two music festivals, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Blues and Brews is happening on Saturday and promises to have several live bands and a wide selection of beers for adults. Saturday and Sunday will see the Flagstaff Folk Festival with more than 100 musical acts and activities both indoors and outdoors.
If you are thinking about driving to Flagstaff or if you just want to get out of Maricopa County for the weekend, there are some basic tips you should keep in mind before you hit the road:
- Check Your Tires: Tires take a great deal of abuse in extremely hot temperatures. If it has been some time since you checked your tires, make sure you inspect them visually and verify that there is enough tread depth on all of them for the tires to be safe. Check the air pressure in each tire and adjust it if necessary so that it complies with manufacturer’s recommendations and so your vehicle will operate in an efficient manner.
- Refrain from Overloading Your Car: It is never a good idea to overload your car and expect it to carry excess weight. But if the temperatures are high, an overloaded vehicle may put too much stress on your vehicle and its engine, potentially leading your car to overheat. This can leave you stranded on the side of the road and substantially increase your risk for a car accident so to be safe, keep your vehicle lightly loaded and keep an eye on your temperature gauges while you drive.
- Expect Stranded Cars: Your car is not the only one at risk for overheating or other temperature-related problems. Therefore, you should anticipate other cars on the side of roadways and highways and be prepared to encounter them. If a stranded driver pulled her vehicle all the way onto the shoulder of the road, you should be able to pass the stopped car without incident. However, you should watch for a driver or passengers exiting the car as you approach and do your best to avoid a collision whenever possible.
- Check Your AC: Temperatures could reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix this weekend. When it is that hot out, air conditioning is a safety feature and not a simple luxury. Air conditioning can fail in extreme heat with little or no warning so before you start a lengthy ride, make sure your AC is functioning properly so that you can travel safely and with ease.
The risk of car accidents and automobile collisions will be high this weekend but if you take appropriate steps, you should be able to reduce your risk of an accident considerably, thereby preventing any injuries that otherwise may occur.
Prior Blog Entry:
Excessive Heat Warning for Phoenix; Accidents Expected, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 14, 2016.
Cool off at 2 Flagstaff music festivals this weekend, by Alison Stanton, azcentral.com/The Republic, published June 15, 2016.