In preparation for the first significant snowfall of the season, New York State Police are encouraging motorists to exercise caution and avoid all unnecessary travel late Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16 into early Thursday afternoon, Dec. 17.
Troopers will be out across the region checking all major routes of travel to ensure that motorists are as safe as possible, the department said.
They are asking motorists traveling in areas impacted by the to begin their departure with enough extra time to make a slow and careful drive to their destination.
Factors to take into consideration if you have to drive include snow accumulation on the roads, the current snowfall rate, the wind, and visibility.
They suggest drivers 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.
- Ensure fluid levels are sufficient (windshield washer fluid, ant-freeze).
- Ensure your 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.
- Brake early.
- Do not use cruise control. This decreases your reaction time to apply to brake.
- 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.
Most importantly, they said, If you do not absolutely have to go out on the roads, then do not.
In addition to state police, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets as the coastal storm system is expected to bring heavy snow, strong winds, and potential coastal flooding beginning in the late afternoon on Wednesday.
Forecast models show it has the potential to deliver up to 12-18 inches or more of snow and sleet across the New York City, Long Island, Southern Tier, and the Mid-Hudson regions.
If drivers have trouble while on the roadways they should call 911 and stay in their vehicles unless it's a real emergency to get out.
"You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle," the department said.
For information about road conditions if you do have to travel dial 511.
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