APD offers tips for safe winter driving


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Stephen “Pops” Cutshall removes a tire from its rim at Alaska Tire Service in Eagle River on Oct. 29.

MIKE NESPER

With snow and ice here to stay for the next six months, it’s a good time to review safe driving tips. And the Anchorage Police Department has plenty of knowledge to share.

The three P’s of safe winter driving — which can be found on the Muni’s website — include prepare, protect and prevent.

 

Prepare:

• Maintain your car — Check the battery and tire tread; keep windows clear; use anti-freeze windshield washer fluid; and check antifreeze.

• Have an emergency kit — This should include flashlight, jumper cables, shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, flares, blankets and abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter. For long trips, food, water, medicine and a cellphone should be included.

• Stopped or stalled? — Stay with the vehicle; don’t overexert yourself; place bright markers on the antenna or windows and shine the dome light; if you run your car, clear the exhaust pipe and run the car just enough to stay warm.

• Plan your route — Allow enough time; check the weather forecast; get familiar with the route; let others know your route and expected arrival time.

• Practice cold weather driving — In the daylight, practice techniques, like steering into a skid or slamming on the brakes, in an empty lot. Stopping distances are longer on ice. Don’t idle for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.

 

Protect yourself:

• Wear a seatbelt and use child safety seats properly.

• Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag.

• Children 12 and younger are safer in the back seat.

• Sit back 10 inches from an air bag.

 

Prevent crashes:

• Always have a designated driver.

• Slow down and increase distances between cars.

• Stay vigilant for pedestrians.

• Get plenty of rest before road trips. Stop at least every three hours and rotate drivers if possible.

 

For more information, visit APD’s webstie at www.muni.org/Departments/police/traffic/Pages/WinterSafeDriving.aspx.

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