The hazards of winter driving have long been apparent to New Yorkers who have to brave wind, snow, ice, freezing rain, hail and fog during many daily commutes this winter. Unfortunately, these dangerous winter driving conditions are upon us again.
This winter, the New York State Department of Transportation has provided some tips for travelers to stay safe when driving under bad weather conditions. The commander of New York State Police Troop B also gave some tips to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
Our Queens injury lawyers want to remind drivers of these safety tips and to urge you to always be cautious when driving in winter weather.
Safe Driving Tips
The New York state Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald provided several winter driving tips in a November article published on Fox 23 News. McDonald advised:
- Giving plenty of clearance to snow plows and never trying to pass them since the road ahead might be icy.
- Adjusting your speed in light of road conditions and in light of what other cars on the road are doing.
- Assuming that there is ice on any bridge you are crossing since roads over bridges tend to freeze more quickly than other road surfaces.
- Be on the lookout for black ice.
- Have a cell-phone available and handy in case of emergency but don’t use it when you are driving.
- Stay in your car if you are snowbound somewhere. Have emergency supplies in the car, including a shovel and flares.
- Let someone know where you are going before you head out, including your estimated time of arrival.
- Stay calm if you are snowbound somewhere.
McDonald also urged drivers to remember that NYSDOT has real-time travel information available both on their website at www.511NY.org and by calling 511 on your cell phone.
Keeping a Good Winter Driving Attitude
In addition to the basic safe driving tips provided by McDonald and the NYSDOT, there are also some other things that you can do to stay safe this winter season. The commander of New York State Police Troop B, Major Richard C. Smith Jr. released a press release with some suggestions that were published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Smith suggested:
- Preparing your car for winter driving by checking antifreeze, confirming your windshield wipers work, checking your headlights and tail lamps, making sure your heater and defroster is in good working order, and checking your hoses, belts, tires, battery, alternator and oil.
- Always having a spare tire with you, along with a lug wrench and jack.
- Checking the weather forecast before starting a trip and making sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
- Slowing down prior to turning and avoiding slamming on the brakes whenever possible.
In addition to these practical tips, Smith also had one more piece of advice for winter drivers: developing a good attitude when it comes to winter driving. According to Smith, the attitude of the driver is the most important factor that determines safe winter driving. A good attitude is an attitude that focuses on paying attention to driving and always putting safety first.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to accident victims. Call 1-877-313-7673 to speak with someone about your case and to discuss your rights today!
NYC Traffic Accidents in Focus as Holidays Approach, New York Injury Lawyer Blog November 19, 2012
State DOT Offers Tips for Safe Winter Driving, Fox 23 News, November 19, 2012