Navajo Highway Safety urges safe driving on roadways during holidays

An Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) patrol car sits damaged on the side of I-40 near milepost 160 after a semi tractor-trailer rig lost control and hit the vehicle injuring officer Greg King. The Navajo Division of Transportation Highway Safety Department encourages drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions. Submitted photo

An Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) patrol car sits damaged on the side of I-40 near milepost 160 after a semi tractor-trailer rig lost control and hit the vehicle injuring officer Greg King. The Navajo Division of Transportation Highway Safety Department encourages drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions. Submitted photo

In the month of December the holiday season is in full swing and often snow falls for the first time around the Navajo Nation. While most enjoy snowfall for the benefits of moisture, beautiful landscapes and recreational opportunities the snow provides, driving with snow on the road or in other difficult driving conditions can be dangerous.

Officials with the Navajo Division of Transportation Highway Safety Department (NDTHSD) offer the following tips - what they call the three P's - for this season. Prepare for the trip, protect yourself and prevent crashes on the road. Motorists are encouraged to maintain their vehicles, including checking the battery, tire tread and windshield wipers. Keeping windows clear by adding no-freeze fluid in washer reservoirs and checking radiator antifreeze levels is also recommended.

Among highway safety professionals, December is known as "National Impaired Driving Awareness Month." President Barack Obama recently issued a national proclamation reminding individuals to celebrate safely.

"Every year, accidents involving drunk, drugged, or distracted driving claim thousands of lives, leaving families to face the heartbeat of losing a loved one. We stand with all those who have known the tragic consequences of drugged or drunk driving, and we rededicate ourselves to preventing it this December and throughout the year," Obama said.

Additionally, NDTHSD advises motorists to keep a flashlight, jumper cables, shovel, snow, brush, ice scraper, blankets and warning devices (like flares) in their vehicles. For longer trips, motorists are encouraged to add food, water, medication and cell phones.

More information is available at www.navajodot.org.

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