Tips for Driving on Snow and Ice During a Central New York Winter
Snow - it comes every winter in central New York. But somehow, motorists forget how to drive safely on snow covered and slippery roads. Here's some tips to travel safe this season.
- Get the latest weather forecast before leaving
- 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
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 drive off the road 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.
The Thruway Authority provides a wide variety of information for travelers including current traffic conditions, accidents, and lane closures. Visit thruway.ny.gov for more information.