NYSP and AAA WCNY offer winter tips for driving in snow and ice

NEW YORK STATE (NEWS10) — Winter is coming, are you ready? New York State Police (NYSP) and AAA Western and Central NY (WCNY) want to make sure you’re prepared for whatever weather whips through the region this season by offering some helpful tips to keep you safe.

In anticipation for the first real snowfall of the season, State Police will reportedly be out across the region checking all major routes to make sure that drivers are being as safe as possible. A few simple tips offered by NYSP include leaving ahead of time to allow for any possible delays, drive slowly and carefully, and take into consideration the current weather forecast including wind, snowfall rate, and visibility. And as always be sure to use your best judgement when it comes to traveling in inclement weather.

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Get the latest weather forecast before leaving with your local weather apps, monitor radio or TV stations.
  • Always clean your windows and mirrors FULLY of any snow and ice before driving.
  • Keep a full tank of gas
  • Fluid levels are sufficient ( windshield washer fluid, ant-freeze)
  • Spare tire is sufficient and you have the jack and wheel wrench
  • Use headlights at all times to increase your visibility to others.  Remember, if your windshield wipers are in use due to weather, then your headlights must be on.
  • Drive prudently.  If the conditions are adverse, you should decrease your speed accordingly.
  • Brake early
  • Do NOT use cruise control.  This decreases your reaction time to apply braking.
  • Look out for events farther down the road.  Creating more time to react can make a difference.
  • Be aware of maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles.  Give them room to work.
  • If you do not absolutely have to go out on the roads, then don’t.

AAA Basic Winter Driving Tips:

  • About 46 percent of crashes involving bad weather take place in the winter, making this the worst time of year for driving in treacherous conditions.
  • Top three winter driving tips: go slow, increase space between yourself and other vehicles, and brake smoothly – don’t brake and turn at the same time. Instead brake, then turn.
  • Obey all travel bans issued by authorities.

“As we get our first dose of winter weather, motorists should prepare their cars and pack an emergency roadside kit complete with a cell phone charger or power bank. It’s important to use winter driving skills as slick roads create dangerous situations,” said Elizabeth Carey, public relations director at AAA WCNY. “During storm conditions, AAA will prioritize emergencies when responding to service calls. We urge all drivers to obey all travel advisories and use caution when traveling.”

If you do go out, is your vehicle prepared?

  • Is your trunk supplied to help you to be safe in case you are stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available:
    • Gloves, blankets, warmers, tool kit, first-aid kit, non-perishable foods, water, working flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger, etc
    • Shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, snow brush, rock salt or cat litter, tow chain or cable, jumper cables or battery charger, etc.

If you are involved in a Collision or leave the roadway:

  • If you drive off the roadway and are stuck in a snow bank or ditch, stay in your vehicle and call 911.  DO NOT exit your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency.  You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.
  • Roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Covered mufflers can cause serious physical injury or death due to inhalation of carbon monoxide.
  • If you should become stranded on the Thruway or any Roadway, know your location by being aware of your direction and mile post marker.  This will help emergency personnel reach your location as quick as possible. 

To check the traffic on your route make sure to check out our traffic page online and watch our traffic report every weekday morning on NEWS10 in the Morning.

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