Things Upstate New York Drivers Need To Survive Winter Roads
We had our first winter weather advisory of the season. We didn't get as much snow as anticipated as the temperatures stayed above freezing. We've been fortunate so far but it will happen and probably at the most inopportune time.
After all, winter is the most difficult driving season event for those of us who have been driving for years. There are many challenges to deal with including the snow, ice and conditions that can change in a heartbeat.
Like the Boy Scouts say "be prepared" when dealing with the winter weather, so slow down. It's better to arrive late then not to arrive at all. Sometimes driving fast only gets you in an accident or the ditch faster.
When the winter weather hits and the roads get slippery, it's easy to skid, I've heard the saying "steer into the skid" but is that true or just a old wives' tale? Here's what the New York Department of Transportation has to say about it.
What I Should Do If My Tires Start To Skid
If you start to skid it depends on what tires are skidding. If your rear wheels start to skid: Turn the steering wheel in the direction that you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left.
If you going right, then steer right. If your back wheels begin sliding the other way as you get control, slowly turn the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left then right a couple of times to get the vehicle under control.
If your front wheels skid: Take your foot off the gas and put the vehicle into neutral but don't try to steer right away. As the wheels skid sideways, the vehicle will slow down and traction will return. Don't forget to put the car back in "drive."
I've had to do the "Marine March" (left, right, left, right) steer before and it does work. What do you know the "steering into the skid" is true.
See And Be Seen On The Road
Clear off your vehicle windows and roof (it's a New York Law) completely and make sure that your wipers are frozen to the windshield. Clear your head and taillights so that others can see you too. Also don't forget to turn your headlights On, after all it's the law
Don't Pass The Snowplow On The Right...Or At All If Possible
The snowplow operator has trouble seeing to the right and behind the vehicle because of the plow blades and de-icing equipment. If you can't see the driver's side mirrors, then they can't see you either. Better to be late then not make it to your destination at all.
For more tips to a safer winter driving experience, and to have your most frequently asked questions answered, the New York Department of Transportation recommends that you go here.
As we get ready for the first big snowfall of the season, let's look back to the last one we had in April of 2022.