Drivers reminded to prepare for winter roads

With winter weather conditions rising, state transportation officials are reminding drivers to take precautions to have a safe commute.

The key to that safe commute under winter conditions is to allow plenty of time to reach a destination, clear all snow and ice from the exterior of the vehicle, turn on headlights, and allow more room between your vehicle and the one in front of you, says the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

ADOT&PF follows a systematic approach to clear state roads of snow and ice by categorizing every state-maintained road as one of five priority levels.

Top priority goes to high-volume, high-speed highways, expressways, minor highways, all safety corridors and other major urban and community routes.

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On the bottom of the list are roadways designated as “no winter maintenance” routes, such as the Denali and Taylor highways.

A winter road maintenance priority map available online at http://dot.alaska.gov/stwdmno/wintermap/index.shtml identifies the priority level of state roads.

Drivers can also access real-time travel information by visiting http://511.alaska.gov/alaska511/mappingcomponent/index or dialing 5-1-1.