State Police, AAA with expert advice for road travel when snow storms hit
BATAVIA — With the first significant snowfall of this season contributing to dozens of motor vehicle accidents over the weekend, the New York State Police and AAA of Central Western New York are encouraging motorists to exercise due care as winter driving conditions settle in for a long stay.
The State Police will be out across the region checking all major routes of travel to ensure that motorists are as safe as possible. The State Police need your assistance to make this possible. Motorists traveling in areas impacted by snow are asked to leave with extra time to make a slow and careful drive to your destination. Take into consideration snow accumulation on the roads, the current snowfall rate, the wind, and visibility. Use your best judgment to determine if driving is prudent.
Keep safety 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
Twenty-four percent of weather-related crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy roads. 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. Obey all travel bans issued by authorities.
“Motorists should prepare their cars and pack an emergency roadside kit. It’s important to use winter driving skills as slick roads create dangerous situations,” said Elizabeth Carey, public affairs manager at AAA WCNY. “AAA will prioritize emergencies when responding to service calls. We urge all drivers to obey any travel advisories and use caution when traveling (during winter snow emergencies).”
Is your vehicle prepared?
Having the right supplies help motorists stay safe when stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available. Those supplies include: Gloves, blankets, warmers, tool kit, first-aid kit, non-perishable foods, water, working flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger. Shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, snow brush, rock salt or cat litter, tow chain or cable, jumper cables or battery charger, etc.
If 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.
Follow the New York State Police's Twitter page @nyspolice for up to the minute information on road closures and weather alerts.
The Thruway Authority provides a wide variety of information for travelers including current traffic conditions, accidents, and lane closures. Visit www.thruway.ny.gov for more information.
Slow down. Be prepared. Be safe.