Newscasters were calling the storm taking aim at New York City and Washington D.C. “sloppy,” “gloppy,” and having the consistency of wallpaper paste.
Our Manhattan car accident attorneys are bracing for the inevitable rash of crashes that will follow, as motorists head out into this mess – many of them unprepared or inexperienced.
Complicating matters is the fact that in some areas battered by Hurricane Sandy, the storm may bring erosion and minor to moderate flooding.
In a recent poll conducted by AOL, 65 percent of drivers responded that they were either not comfortable driving in snow or they were only comfortable with a moderate level of snowfall. Given that we have six more weeks of winter, some people may want to either limit their travel or brush up on winter weather safe driving tips.
It’s worth noting too that for those 35 percent who were so comfortable with their winter weather driving skills, overconfidence can be a killer.
The New York State Department of Transportation regularly issues Winter Travel Advisory updates through the state’s 511NY service. These updates are provided in real time, so it’s worthwhile to check them out before you go. There is also information for bicyclists and pedestrians, those taking the subway or those who are opting for ferries or buses.
The site also offers information regarding road closures due to construction and special events. This is particularly helpful for planning in advance so you aren’t tempted to speed – which is especially important when the roads are caked with snow and we’re anticipating at least some power outages that could affect traffic signals.
Checking the site is part of being prepared. If you are heading out in your own vehicle, another way that you can ensure preparedness is to check your car and equipment. If you haven’t already done so, taking it in for a once-over isn’t a bad idea. In particular, you’ll need to make sure there is enough antifreeze, that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid, that the headlights are in working order and clean and that your tires have proper tread and inflation. You’ll also want to make sure you’re battery is in good working order. This is important for two reasons: One is that you don’t want to be stranded in cold weather, and the second is that a disabled vehicle can cause not only traffic headaches but accidents, especially when visibility is reduced by the snow or at night.
As we mentioned before, you’ll also want to slow down. Even in a truck or sport utility vehicle, you simply can not drive safely at 80 miles per hour in a snowstorm. Consider that you may need to abruptly brake or turn and doing so at a high rate of speed on a wet surface is a recipe for disaster. Accept that it will take you longer to get where you need to go.
Don’t tailgate the car in front of you. The more distance you leave yourself between vehicles, the more you are lessening your chances of a wreck. Even if the person in front of you on the highway is only doing 35 miles per hour, that’s fast enough to result in serious injuries if you are right behind him.
Avoid your cruise control. Some people use it as second nature, but if your vehicle skids or hydroplanes, the wheels will try to maintain their speed and this will probably cause you to lose control of the car. Just don’t do it.
If you can avoid it at all, don’t drive. And if you find yourself caught in conditions that are just too bad to continue on, pull over and wait it out. Hopefully, you will have stocked your car with some basic necessities to help you do so. Better to arrive late than never at all.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
‘Wallpaper paste’ snowstorm takes aim at nation’s capital, New York City, March 6, 2013, By Matthew DeLuca, NBC News
More Blog Entries:
Car Accident Fatalities Rising in New York, Nation, Feb. 24, 2013, Manhattan Car Accident Lawyer Blog