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How can you mitigate the risks of winter driving?

Winter is a hazard in most U.S. states, but it's one that almost never leaves Alaska. Winter driving conditions, which include freezing rain, snow and ice all stay present in Alaska year-round. Depending on the conditions and where you're headed, these hazards could affect you on any drive you take.

The good news is that you can prepare for winter conditions. Knowing what to do to prepare your vehicle and yourself for snow, ice and sleet can help you prevent accidents and injuries. What should you do before you drive in hazardous winter conditions?

Make sure your vehicle has been inspected

Get your vehicle inspected regularly and perform regular maintenance. Your tires should have at least 2/32" of tread remaining. If the tread measures 2/32", it's time to replace them. Poor tread leads to slipping and skidding, which is not what you want in winter-weather conditions.

Take a winter driving course

Knowing what your vehicle can and cannot do, along with what you are capable of when driving, helps you make better decisions about when you should drive and when it's better to stay home. Learn to handle your vehicle on ice and in the snow, so you stay in control.

Set aside more time to drive

Finally, set aside more time to drive. If you have to be somewhere and it normally takes you a half-hour, plan for an hour in poor weather conditions. Being able to slow down and take your time helps prevent crashes.

These are just a few tips to help you stay safe out there. Slow down and prepare your vehicle, and you'll be safer.

Source: esurance, "Dangers of winter driving," accessed Feb. 27, 2018

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