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Press Release: 18-1053

Anchorage: Shannon McCarthy, (907) 269-0448,
Fairbanks: Caitlin Frye, (907) 451-5307,
Juneau:Aurah Landau, (907) 465-4503,

DOT&PF Safe Driving Tips for Winter Conditions

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(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – We can’t deny it. For much of the state, winter is here. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) reminds drivers to be prepared for winter driving and offers tips to help you have a safe commute.
Drivers can follow four tips for a safe winter commute.

  • Be sure to give yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you have the option, wait until conditions improve.
  • Be sure to clear off all the snow and ice from the outside of your vehicle. Don’t forget mirrors, windows, lights and both windshields.
  • Turn on your vehicle’s headlights before getting on the road. Be sure to use turn signals, too; this is especially important when visibility is poor.
  • Always allow more room between you and the vehicle in front of you. This gives you time to react if you encounter unexpected conditions.

“Winter came on rather suddenly in South Central Alaska this year, catching many travelers unprepared,” said Marc Luiken, DOT&PF Commissioner. “We want everyone to know that we are ready and will continue to work hard every day to keep the roads open and safe for Alaskans. Winters are challenging for our crews and for the traveling public. It is incumbent on all of us to prepare our vehicles and our driving expectations for Alaska’s winter conditions.”

DOT&PF follows a systematic approach to clear Alaska’s roads of snow and ice by categorizing every state-maintained road as one of five priority levels. Each level is based on traffic volume, speed, and connections to communities and other roads within the local transportation network. Response time during winter weather is usually dependent on the severity of the storm.

Priority 1 roads will receive the most winter maintenance, followed by Priority 2, Priority 3 and, finally, Priority 4. Priority 5 roads do not receive winter maintenance. The Winter Road Maintenance Priority Map is available to help Alaskans identify the priority level of the roads they drive most frequently. Additional winter season resources are available here.

DOT&PF reminds drivers to prepare for safe winter travel and to drive according to road and weather conditions. Remember, posted speed limits are for dry pavement. Drivers can access travel information by visiting 511.Alaska.Gov or dialing 5-1-1.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 35 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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