Following the first significant snowfall in Fairbanks, the Alaska Department of Transportation has alerted motorists that driving conditions in the area are difficult. And Alaska State Troopers have stated that numerous collisions, possibly including an accident that resulted in a fatality, have occurred because of poor road conditions.
As the weather causes road conditions in Fairbanks to worsen, we encourage you to take extra precautions to stay safe.
When you can, avoid driving altogether. For most of us, unfortunately, that’s not possible because of work, school, and other obligations. When you must drive, do so carefully. Give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. Drive slowly and do not follow other vehicles too closely.
An article from Edmunds.com also gives a number of helpful winter driving tips, including the following:
Check your tires. Your tires need to have the right amount of tread, at least 6/32 of an inch, in order to best perform in winter conditions. Even if your tires are purportedly “all-season,” they may not have enough tread. Snow tires are likely your best bet.
Check your windshield wiper blades. Replace old windshield wiper blades. Make sure that your windshield washing system works and has anti-icing fluid.
Use your headlights. Make sure that your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. If your car is older and your headlights are sand-pitted, replace the lenses.
Watch out for black ice. Black ice is one of the most dangerous hazards on the roads. Transparent and nearly impossible to see, black ice can send you into a tailspin if you aren’t watching carefully. You can test your vehicle’s traction by slightly pressing on the brakes or turning the wheel.
Take note of problem areas. Where does ice tend to accumulate along your route? Bridges, intersections, and any place where water runs across a road tend to get icy. Remember where these poor conditions are and adjust your driving accordingly when you come across them.