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JPD Provides Winter Driving Tips to Juneau Motorists
Published: 01/06/2011 21:20:00
Driving in the Alaskan winter can be challenging; and to help the Juneau Police Department hosted a Winter Driving class Wednesday Evening. If you didn't make the class, don't worry, we've got some of the key tips right here.

Officer Sarah Hieb of the Juneau Police Department taught the class. "We see a lot of vehicles go into the ditch, either on Egan Drive or on Glacier Highway. And generally speaking, that happens when there is fresh snow on the ground, Early morning when people are commuting to work and or school. They just lose control of the vehicle; they give it too much gas, or try to break at a time when they shouldn't be trying to give it gas or trying to break, even if it's a very minute bit of gas. It can still - just that little bit of push - can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and then you're going to be in the ditch."

It's important to be careful, even if there isn't a lot of visible snow on the roads.

"Compared to down south, we're just a colder climate, so there are more concerns of ice. Black ice is a specific problem here in Juneau. Any time that there's a little layer of water on the roadway that gets frozen at night time, or even during the day, that causes black ice can be a concern. Because black ice, you can't see it; you may not realize that it's there. But it is, and it can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and get into an accident". Explained Hieb.

Some spots around town known to often have black ice are: The Sunny point intersection, Glacier & Back Loop, North Douglas Highway especially near Mike Hatch Jeep, and the Auke bay Area. Bridges and areas that are in the shade a lot during the day are also at higher risk.

If you do find yourself in the ditch; it's generally a good idea to stay in your car until you know it's safe to get out, and give JPD a quick call to let them know even if you are OK as they will likely be getting calls from others on the road and won't know if you need help or not. And remember to only use your cell phone to call JPD when you aren't driving.

By: Mikko Wilson -