While it's still too early to tell for sure, we are hearing that Upstate New York might see its first big snowfall of the season this weekend. Forecasts range from a trace of snow to snowmageddon

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Even though it probably won't be snowmageddon, we shouldn't shrug off winter safety driving tips. Whether it's only a little bit of snow on the road or a mountain, your safety and the safety of others on the road matter to all of us.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) wants everyone to be careful on the road and give snowplow trucks enough room to do what they need to do. NYSDOT also has some other winter driving tips that could make your commute safer.

New York State Department of Transportation Winter Driving Tips

Importance of Snowplows
Snowplow trucks are big-time players when it comes to keeping our roads safe during the winter. During the 2022-2023 winter season, the NYSDOT plowed nearly 9 million miles of road. The New York Thruway Authority plowed roughly 1.5 million lane miles across 570 miles of New York.

Give Snowplows Plenty of Space
Keep a safe distance and avoid tailgating snowplow trucks. They need extra room to move around and might not be able to see you because of the snow clouds and blowing snow.

Reduce Your Speed
Give yourself some extra time to get where you need to go. Slowing down will help you keep control of your vehicle in slippery conditions and give you more time to react to unexpected situations.

Stay Behind Snowplows
AVOID PASSING SNOWPLOWS because they might be spreading de-icing materials or pushing snow and that can make the road hazardous ahead of you.  Wait till it's safe to pass when the conditions allow.

Investing in Vehicle Winterization
Making sure that your vehicle is ready for winter is very important to make sure that you and others on the road stay safe.

Check Your Tires
Make sure your vehicle tires have proper tread and are inflated properly. Winter tires or chains can give added traction in icy and snowy conditions. It's good to have your tires inflated any time of the year but especially during the winter.

Maintain Fluid Levels
Make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid and keep an extra bottle in your trunk. Nothing is worse than getting snow or ice on your windshield and not being able to clear it properly. Check your oil and coolant levels and it's not a bad idea to use winter-grade oil for better engine performance in cold temperatures.

Replace Worn-Out Wiper Blades
Making sure that your windshield is clear when you're driving is important. Replace your old or damaged wiper blades to help with your visibility. Not being able to see through your windshield is never a good thing, especially during a wintery storm

Test Your Battery
Cold weather can put a strain on your car's battery and it's not a bad idea to have it tested to make sure it's in good condition. The last thing that you want to find out during a winter storm is that your battery doesn't have the strength. This leaves you stranded at the worst possible time.

Pack an Emergency Kit
Be prepared for unexpected delays or emergencies by carrying things like a snow shovel, ice scraper, flashlight, first aid kit, warm clothing, and blankets. It's better to have it and not need it instead of needing it and not having it.

This winter has been mild so far but here's a little reminder of what it looked like in our area only three years ago.

IN PHOTOS: Winter Storm Izzy Smacks The The Southern Tier

Winter Storm Izzy arrived in the Southern Tier late on Sunday, January 16, 2021 and dumped varying amounts of snow. These photos were submitted by locals to show what it looks like where they live.

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

12 Non-Perishable Foods You Should Stock Up On Ahead of Winter

Natural disasters, shipping container issues, skyrocketing heating bills, astronomical gas prices - stocking up now on the right non-perishable food items will help you weather the storm this winter, whatever form that storm might take on.

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

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