What do you need to know about winter driving in New York?
Road safety for winter may not be foremost on your mind. However, ice and snow can make the roads treacherous and lead to accidents. Taking time to review some safety guidelines and prepare ahead of time can help prevent traffic accidents.
The following questions and answers can help you gear up for winter driving in New York.
How can you prepare your car for winter weather?
Maintenance is key. The National Safety Commission (NSC) recommends you do the following to winterize your car:
- Test your car battery because batteries drain as the temperatures drop
- Ensure the car’s cooling system is working
- Replace tires with winter tires that have deeper treads
- If you use all-season tires, inspect the tread and replace them if less than 2/32 inches
- Because tires deflate due to drops in temperature, check tire pressure and inflate your tires if necessary
- Check your windshield wipers and replace if they are not adequate
- Use wiper fluid rated for -30 degrees
- Avoid gas line freeze by keeping your tank at least half full
What actions should you do right before driving?
These last minute actions can make your driving safer:
- Clean your side mirrors and the car’s external camera lenses so you can see around the car
- Warm up the car before driving
- Never leave the car running in your garage because carbon monoxide poisoning could occur. This is true even if the garage door is open.
- Clean your sensors of ice, snow and dirt so automatic braking and other features work
- Check the weather and if possible wait until a storm ends
- Share your travel plans with someone else, including the routes you’ll take
What are some tips to help you drive in snowy conditions?
There are some major differences between driving in snow and normal driving. Here are some tips to follow:
- Do not use cruise control in winter weather
- If you skid, steer in the skid direction. Your wheels will regain traction, and you won’t have to overcorrect to stay in the proper lane
- Decelerate and accelerate slowly
- Stay further away from other vehicles, increasing distance from 8 to 10 seconds
- When going uphill, if possible, do not stop
- If there is a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and wait until the weather improves.
- Only pull off on the shoulder of the road if it is a complete emergency. Other vehicles cannot see you when visibility is limited