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Stay safe as you drive on New York roads in winter

Most people can't avoid driving for the entire winter, so it is imperative that everyone be ready for snow and other wintry precipitation when it comes. There are a few ways that drivers can prepare for these conditions.

First, if you know that it is supposed to snow or sleet, check on the road conditions before you leave. If travel advisories have been issued, it is best to remain home until those get lifted. Of course, there might be vital errands you need to run, so plan for some extra time on the road if you need to head out. Consider these tips to help you remain safer on the roads:

  • Make sure you have at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle. This helps prevent the gas lines from freezing. It can also allow you to stay warm if you end up getting stranded.
  • Check your tires. They need to have appropriate tread to be able to grip the road. They should also all be one type as you shouldn't mix radials with other types.
  • Don't try to drive the speed limit. These limits are set for ideal conditions. You will need to drive slower in the snow and ice.
  • Remember that four-wheel-drive helps with acceleration but it doesn't impact stopping distance. You shouldn't try to stop suddenly when the roads are slick.
  • Never use cruise control when the weather and roads aren't clear. Cruise control can't account for the upcoming road conditions and could contribute to a crash.
  • Try not to accelerate on snowy hills. You might find that your car's tires start to spin if you hit the gas when you are going up an incline.
  • Ensure the windshield wipers are in good shape and that the windshield is clear. Trying to see through windshield grime that is often present in winter can make safe driving impossible. You need good wipers to brush off anything that sprays up on your vehicle as you drive.

There is a chance that other drivers won't be as safe as you are this winter. If you are involved in a crash, stay as safe as possible. Remaining in your vehicle can put a barrier between you and other vehicles that might careen toward your car. Contact the police department to file a police report and get medical care if necessary. As you are handling things with the police, the other driver and insurance representatives, don't say anything that might impact your right to seek compensation for the injuries you suffered.

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