Aside from the traffic buildup in these situations, are you aware of the driving risks associated with wildfires? Do you know how to avoid these areas, or stay safe while driving?

In the event of a wildfire in your area, here are some safety and prevention tips to follow when you’re on the road:

  1. Smoke can quickly change direction and density. It’s best to avoid these areas altogether, if possible.  Consider taking a different route to your destination – one that completely avoids the affected area.
  2. Know the current road conditions and the potential risks of the area, before you begin your drive.
  3. Keep all windows, mirrors, and headlights clean to ensure the best visibility, since smoke and dust can buildup and cause your vision to be slightly impaired.
  4. Drive slowly and remain three car lengths behind the car in front of you. The smoke can be very dense, which makes it difficult to see in front of you. Allow enough time and room to brake if need be.
  5. Always keep your windows rolled up while driving near wildfires and smoky areas.
  6. Turn on your headlights if visibility is impaired, but do not use your high beams, since these may distract surrounding motorists.
  7. Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, including a cell phone.
  8. Consider keeping a map in your car, in case your location is outside cell reception, and you need a quick alternative route.

Again, driving near a wildfire is extremely dangerous due to the inconsistency of smoke density, and should be avoided entirely, if possible. If it is unavoidable, however, make sure you are aware of the road conditions and precaution tips to ensure safe traveling.