How to Prepare for Winter Roads in Fairbanks

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks has seen an unusually late start to winter this year, but motorists are being urged take advantage of this delay to prepare for winter driving. Winter driving can seem a bit daunting to those new to the Interior or teens experiencing their first winter as a licensed driver, so knowing how to be prepared can help keep everyone safe on the roads.

Caitlin Frye with the Alaska Department of Transportation shares some tips with us.

"You know, driving with a winter driving mindset is really important in the winter here, especially if you are new and haven't driven in these kinds of conditions before. So, that means brake slowly. It might take you some extra time to stop, so leave some extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you. And also, definitely get some good tires on your vehicle. Good winter tires are a really important part of staying safe on the roads here in the winter," Frye said.

Frye also talked about an acronym DOT has been using to help educate drivers called BARFF or Bridges And Ramps Freeze First.

"Especially when we are in this transition period, where it is just on the edge of freezing, it is important to remember that bridges and ramps freeze first. So that means that even if you have been driving on the road, and it hasn't been particularly icy, if you go over a bridge or a ramp, it could be icier than the rest of the road," she said.

Another way to be prepared is to have an emergency kit in the car. A few items to pack in a kit would be blankets, extra clothes and boots, a flashlight, shovel, jumper cables and a first aid kit. Frye says it is a good idea to make sure there is always a charged cell phone in the car as well.

For more information on how to prepare for winter driving visit:
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dot.alaska.gov/winter