Harsh New York winter weather may make roads and highways dangerous for drivers and passengers. Snow, ice and poor visibility may increase the frequency of motor vehicle accidents that include serious injuries. Individuals may reduce their risk of car accidents by learning how to drive safely during the winter.

According to the New York State government, some winter car accidents occur when drivers do not properly account for the presence of snowplows on the road. Snowplows frequently access roads during the winter; statistics from the 2017-2018 winter show millions of miles of roads and lanes plowed by trucks from the Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority. One of the key aspects of driving safely when snowplows are on the road is giving the plows plenty of space. Drivers should stay several car lengths behind plows and should not pass operating snowplows. Using reduced speeds, especially on bridges and flyovers is another essential key to driving safely in the winter.

Additional winter driving tips come from the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. According to the Committee, safety starts with pre-driving preparation. Before winter begins, drivers should prepare their vehicles for the season by installing winter tires, adding antifreeze and ensuring the heater and defroster function properly. Individuals should remove all snow and ice from their vehicles before driving and may check public resources to verify road conditions. Experts recommend that drivers pack adequate winter clothing, blankets and snow removal equipment in their vehicles. Following other cars too closely and weaving through traffic may significantly increase the chances of an accident. Other tips from the Traffic Safety Committee include driving at slower speeds, refraining from passing and remaining alert to road conditions and other vehicles.