Arizona and New Mexico residents are familiar with the snowbird phenomenon. It refers to the part-time residents who move south during the winter to avoid the snow and freezing temperatures.
With the sudden influx of motorists on significant highways and unfamiliar residential streets comes an increased risk of accidents. The National Safety Council estimates that 427 people might die during the New Year’s holiday this year. Holiday travel certainly contributes to this estimate.
More drivers on the road mean more chances for motor vehicle accidents. Lookout for an increase in out-of-state license plates. Snowbirds may not be as familiar with the roadways you travel every day, meaning they might make unexpected turns or drive slower than usual. Always practice defensive driving, and do not aggressively pass snowbirds that hold you up on the highway. Angry or reactive driving only increases your chance of an accident.
Untrained RV drivers
Arizona does not require a special license for driving a recreational vehicle (RV). New Mexico requires a Class E Non-Commercial License. Many people drive these large, ungainly vehicles without special training or familiarity. Give it a wide berth when you see an RV on the highway. You never know how experienced the driver is or if they drove past the point of exhaustion to get to your state.
You should always practice safe driving, but snowbird migration means this is especially the case. People want to visit your state in the winter months. Rather than make an angry mistake, try avoiding the most congested areas.