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Some of Arizona’s most beautiful drives are along the foothills and mountains of the deserts and higher altitudes. Besides the stunning landscape, you might see wildlife along the way. You may have seen signs along the roads pointing out deer crossings. When driving in low-light conditions, it’s especially important to be vigilant. Hitting a deer is not only tragic for the animal, it can also do extensive damage to your car or truck. A mature mule deer can weigh up to 280 pounds. Hitting that at 70 miles per hour can do some serious damage.
Clean the Windshield
Deer aren’t the only threat. Mountain driving itself can be challenging because of limited road visibility, sudden and unpredictable weather, dirt road conditions and heavy traffic. These tips will help you drive more safely on Arizona’s roads as well as avoid hitting a deer. Before heading out on a mountain or foothill drive, clean the windshield inside and out. That film that forms on the glass inside your car can obscure the view just as much as the dust and dirt on the outside.
Replace a Pitted or Cracked Windshield
The sandy nature of Arizona’s desert soil and summertime dust storms cause a lot of road chips on your vehicle’s windows. Eventually, all those chips distort the glass and make it hard to see, especially in low light conditions. A crack in your field of vision will also hamper your view. Arizona has a law that requires you to replace any windshield with a crack that’s over ¼ inch long. It can lengthen at any point or completely shatter the glass, especially if the interior of your car gets excessively hot. A new windshield or auto glass repair eliminates the poor visibility caused by compromised glass. It goes a long way toward preventing any driving hazard you might encounter in the mountains, whether you’re on a paved or gravel road.
During the fall and parts of the winter, the sun is at an angle that makes it difficult to see when you’re driving into the sun. The only way to cope with this immediate blindness is by wearing sunglasses. They’ll also help you with all the curves you encounter driving in the mountains and foothills. Under these conditions, you can have a completely clear view of what’s ahead but lose it the moment you enter a curve.
Don’t lose sight of the hazards that deer pose as you drive in the mountains and the foothills. They’re out there and you’re vigilance behind the wheel and preparing ahead of time are the best ways to prevent an accident.
When driving in or near the mountains, you must be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times. Be vigilant and stay alert, deer and other wild animals can appear and start crossing any road in seconds.