Four winter driving tips for New York motorists

Inclement weather can make driving in New York during the winter months dangerous, but by taking certain precautions, drivers may increase their safety.

The unpredictability of the weather conditions can make travel hazardous for people in New York and elsewhere during the winter months. In addition to dealing with snow, ice and rain, there are also fewer hours of daylight. Consequently, auto accidents are an all too common occurrence on the roads and highways throughout the winter. Such wrecks often result in serious injuries or death for those involved. Although people may not be able to avoid all winter weather-related crashes, there are things they can do to help improve their safety when traveling in inclement weather conditions.

Service vehicles

Whether traveling to work, cruising around town or taking a road trip, no one wants to deal with a break down when driving. This can be even more of a hassle, however, in winter weather. In addition to having a mechanic conduct regular tune-ups and routine maintenance, it is a good idea for motorists to ensure their vehicles are in optimal working order before hitting the road for a long-distance trip.

Stock supplies

Due to the cold temperatures, emergency situations on the road can be particularly serious during the winter months. Preparing for problems before they occur may help drivers keep themselves and their passengers safe in the event of motor vehicle collisions or breakdowns that leave them stranded for an extended period. This includes carrying items such as snow shovels, ice scrapers, jumper cables, emergency markers, flashlights, water and non-perishable snacks, and extra clothing and blankets in their vehicles.

Plan the trip

During the winter months, the weather can change quickly; making a route that seemed safe into a treacherous one. Before venturing out, especially when there is a possibility of bad weather in the forecast, people should plan their travel and route. Drivers are advised to check the weather, traffic and road conditions, as well as to familiarize themselves with the directions and maps before hitting the road. It is also a good idea for people to let at least one other person know their intended route and anticipated arrival time.

Slow down

When traveling on slick or snow-covered roads, it is more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles. Therefore, it is recommended that people slow down when driving in winter conditions. Further, they should increase their following distances to ensure they have ample time to stop or adjust to traffic changes in front of them. This may help avoid potentially serious rear-end collisions, which often result in serious injuries.

Seeking legal guidance

When people in New York and elsewhere are involved in winter weather accidents, they may suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical care. As a result, they may incur undue medical expenses, as well as lose income while they are off work recovering. Under some circumstances, however, the drivers responsible for causing such wrecks may be held financially liable. Thus, those who have suffered injuries due to accidents while traveling in winter conditions may benefit from discussing their rights and options for pursuing compensation with an attorney.