State police offer winter driving tips

In preparation for the first real snowfall for this season, the State Police and AAA of Central Western New York encourage motorists to exercise due care over the next few days.

The State Police will be out across the region checking all major routes of travel to ensure that motorists are as safe as possible.  The State Police need your assistance to make this possible.  Motorists traveling in areas impacted by the snow are asked to leave with extra time to make a slow and careful drive to your destination.  Take into consideration snow accumulation on the roads, the current snowfall rate, the wind, and visibility. Use your best judgment to determine if driving is prudent.

Keep the following tips in mind:

— Get the latest weather forecast before leaving with your local weather apps, monitor radio  or TV stations.

— Always clean your windows and mirrors fully of any snow and ice before driving.

— Keep a full tank of gas.

— Fluid levels are sufficient ( windshield washer fluid, ant-freeze.)

— Spare tire is sufficient and you have the jack and wheel wrench.

— Use headlights at all times to increase your visibility to others.  Remember, if your windshield wipers are in use due to weather then your headlights must be on.

— Drive prudently.  If the conditions are adverse you should decrease your speed accordingly

— Brake early.

— Do not use cruise control.  This decreases your reaction time to apply braking.

— Look out for events farther down the road. Creating more time to react can make a difference.

— Be aware of maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles.  Give them room to work.

— If you do not absolutely have to go out on the roads, then don’t.

AAA winter driving tips:

— 24 percent of weather-related crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy roads.

— Top three winter driving tips: go slow, increase space between yourself and other vehicles, and brake smoothly — don’t brake and turn at the same time.

— Obey all travel bans issued by authorities.

“Motorists should prepare their cars and pack an emergency roadside kit. It’s important to use winter driving skills as slick roads create dangerous situations,” said Elizabeth Carey, public affairs manager at AAA WCNY in a news release.