New York winters are notorious. Icy roads and drifting, blowing snow present their own sets of challenges for commuters each year. Drivers, in particular, need to take certain measures to prevent endangering others on the road during winter driving conditions.
Additional Caution for Winter Driving
Keeping your car well maintained is a good idea all year long; but basic maintenance can really save the day when roads are bad. In addition to your basic periodic maintenance, be sure your car is winter-ready by doing the following:
- Check your wiper blades and replace if necessary
- Keep your washer fluid reservoir topped off
- Ensure your spare tire is inflated and ready to use
- Brush snow from your front and rear lights and from all windows—not just the windshield
Additionally, be sure you’re not driving too fast or following too closely for weather conditions. Posted speed limits are for perfect driving conditions; you should always reduce speed when in poor weather. Give salt trucks and plows a wide berth as well.
Drivers who don’t exercise additional caution when necessary can cause a crash—and may be held liable for damages if anyone is injured by their carelessness.
Winter Driving Kit
Preparing for the worst is never a bad idea. Although we hope you’ll never need it, it’s still a good plan to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle in case of a crash. It should include:
- Warm gloves or mittens
- Road flares
- Small shovel
- A bag of clay cat litter and a bag of salt
Also, be sure to carry tire chains if you’ll be driving on roads that call for them, such as in rural or mountainous areas.
In Case of an Accident
If, despite your best efforts, you have a crash, call 911 right away. Inform them if anyone is hurt. Even if no one is hurt, you should get police on the scene and exchange information with the other driver(s).
Do not apologize or admit fault. If you were injured in the crash, it may be a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if you may have a claim for damages.