Arizona, known for its stunning landscapes, mild winters, and endless sunshine, becomes a temporary home for a significant number of snowbirds from colder climate states and even Canada. The Maricopa Association of Governments reported that about 100,000 people from Canada come to Arizona to spend the winters.
These seasonal visitors typically arrive in October or November and stay until April or May, escaping the frigid temperatures of their hometowns. While their presence contributes to the local economy, it also brings an increase in the number of people on the road, often comprising older drivers who may be unfamiliar with Arizona’s roadways. This influx raises concerns about road safety, including the risk of wrong-way drivers and accidents.
Concerns about snowbirds
One significant concern about these people who migrate south to warmer destinations is the increased volume of traffic. With thousands of additional vehicles on the roads, especially in popular snowbird destinations like Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson, traffic congestion becomes a common issue. Older drivers, who may not be familiar with local traffic patterns, can contribute to road congestion, creating potential hazards for everyone on the road.
Another challenge is that snowbirds, who may not be familiar with the local roads, could find navigating Arizona’s intricate highway system confusing. This unfamiliarity can lead to mistakes such as taking wrong exits, driving at slower speeds or hesitating at intersections. These actions can increase the risk of accidents, especially during peak travel times when local residents are also on the road.
One of the most concerning issues is the occurrence of wrong-way drivers. Wrong-way accidents are particularly dangerous and can result in severe injuries or fatalities. Snowbirds who are unfamiliar with Arizona’s roads may inadvertently enter highways or exit ramps in the wrong direction, leading to life-threatening situations.
Addressing accident risks
To tackle these problems, the local government and the police can watch the traffic more, put up better signs on the roads and teach people who come to Arizona in the winter about how to drive here. Teaching people about the local traffic laws, what the roads are like and things to be careful about can really help.
For the people who come to Arizona during the winter, it is very important to get to know the roads here. They can use GPS systems, follow the traffic rules and pay attention to the road signs. Doing these things can make the roads safer.
The presence of snowbirds in Arizona during the winter months is a double-edged sword. While they contribute to the local economy, their arrival also poses challenges to the state’s roadways. Snowbirds and local authorities can work together to mitigate these challenges and ensure safer roads for all.
Seek legal help after an accident
If you or a loved one is injured, we recommend you contact us here at Harris, Powers & Cunningham PLLC to discuss your legal options. Our lawyers may be able to help you get the compensation you need to recover after being injured. We provide a no-obligation, free initial consultation. Call 602-252-2099 or send us an e-mail to request your consultation.