Driving During and After a Snow Storm

NYC and its surrounding boroughs are known for their wintertime snowstorms, and typically between November and March, unrelenting snow storms can occur at any time. Because New Yorker’s are used to winter weather, life for many doesn’t necessarily come to a grinding halt just because there is some snow on the roadways. Therefore, these drivers are likely to get into a fender-bender or worse when driving in treacherous winter conditions.

A significant amount of weather-related motor vehicle accidents happen and are caused by winter weather conditions. Whether it’s snow, ice, slush or a combination of these winter elements, the accumulation of snow, ice or slush on the pavement creates a serious danger for drivers if they aren’t careful. Furthermore, if you have not prepared your auto properly for bad winter weather, these risks are significantly magnified.

CLEAR YOUR CAR OF SNOW AND ICE

Properly de-icing your car effectively is one of the best ways to ensure that your drive will be a safe one. Even when there is no winter weather, frost accumulation can still occur on your front and rear windows, and therefore, and activating your vehicle’s defroster is still necessary. If not done correctly, the clear ice on your windshield can turn into a mirror when the sun comes out, which means that you can become virtually blinded by the sun while driving.

First, rid your auto of all snow. This may seem obvious, but some driver’s don’t recognize how important it is to really get fid of all the snow on your car before the de-icing process begins. This is even more important so that snow doesn’t come crashing down from the roof of your vehicle. Have you even been behind a large pick-up truck with twelve inches of snow, which may have become ice, which has failed to brush it off? Once that truck gains enough speed, the wind kicks-up and the sun comes out, that ice and snow can come flying off and hit another vehicle’s windshield. Given the weight of the snow and ice, combined with speed, force and velocity, if it hits another vehicle it can blind the driver struck and cause a serious accident. Once you have removed the snow and ice from your car, start up the engine so that it begins to warm up and activate the defrosters. You can speed up the process by using an ice scraper on your windshields to get the heavier ice off first. If it has melted most of the way, your windshield wiper should be able to wipe off the rest with the assistance of some winter-grade windshield wiper fluid . Remember, don’t ever pull out of your driveway until all the ice is cleared from your front and rear windshield.

USE ALL WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES IF POSSIBLE

Because of the increased need for control, an all-wheel drive vehicle usually performs better in the snow than a rear wheel drive or front wheel drive only vehicle. If someone in the family has an all-wheel drive vehicle, then that should be the car designated to be on the road if vehicular travel is necessary in treacherous winter weather. Since subways are usually just a few blocks away in may parts of New York City, consider the use of public transportation in bad winter weather to avoid car accident altogether.

Also check your car’s tire pressure and make sure that the tread depth is proper on your tires. Snow tires are also a good idea for stormy winter months, especially if you know you will have to drive during the winter season.

PLAN AHEAD

If you have a specific time you need to be somewhere, such as for a doctor’s appointment, make sure do give yourself plenty of extra time for your trip during stormy winter weather. When there is snow on the ground or it is snowing, it is often a good idea to drive below the posted speed limit. If traffic is moving faster than you are comfortable driving in these conditions, then slowly and safely move to the right lane, put on your hazard flashers and drive a speed slow enough so that you are comfortable and can travel safely. If the weather becomes too bad, you may consider pulling off the road and waiting for the storm to stop before continuing on with your trip.