Although it varies from year to year, New York City usually gets about 25 inches of snow per year. This doesn’t even include places like Rochester and Buffalo that get twice as much during winter months. While people may seem excited with the upcoming holiday, snow usually spells disaster – especially on the roads.
Snowy weather is hazardous to all kinds of vehicles, but particularly to big rigs. Due to their enormous size, heavy loads, and long drives, they pose a threat to their drivers and other motorists. While any type of road accident is scary, trucks make it worse. They can fall over with strong gusts of wind, or skid out of control because of icy highways.
Whether you’ll be sharing the road with them or not, it pays to know how to drive safely in such circumstances. Here are several driving tips meant for snowy weather.
Avoid Road Accidents: How To Drive on Icy Roads
Over the past 10 years, snow, sleet, and ice have caused hundreds of thousands of crashes. About two percent of these collisions end up in fatalities. While one can never tell what would happen on the highway during bad weather conditions, it’s best to practice extra precaution and defensive driving to keep you – and your family – safe.
Icy roads, especially black ice, can be almost invisible to the eye. Even the most experienced and careful drivers find themselves careening out of control in the presence of black ice. Aside from ensuring you have the right equipment for wintry weather, take note of the following driving tips as well:
- Be observant and alert at all times. If you see vehicles sliding ahead or slowing down, downshift to lower gear to gain better control of your vehicle.
- Turn off cruise control and make sure you – and other passengers – are wearing seatbelts.
- Never tailgate, especially with a truck! If you leave about a two to four-second interval between you and the vehicle in front under normal conditions, make it six to eight in snowy weather. This should give you ample time to react in case of emergencies.
- Do not hit the brakes when you feel your vehicle sliding. Stay calm, take your foot off the gas, then shift into neutral.
- Don’t forget to use your headlights, particularly during a snowstorm when visibility is low. This helps you see – and be seen by fellow drivers.
Accidents during snowy weather are not only due to carelessness or ice. Other factors such as distractions, equipment failure, and lack of warning could also play a role. When driving through icy roads, it’s best to remain alert and be prepared for anything.
Evading Truck Accidents: Mountain Driving in Snowy Weather
If icy roads are tough, mountain roads pose a different kind of challenge. Elevation plus tight curves are just disasters waiting to happen. Before attempting mountain driving in winter, confirm that you the right equipment: from emergency supplies, to tools.
- Check that you have at least a half tank of gas before heading off.
- Remove snow and ice from your vehicle, especially from the windshield to allow better visibility.
- Carry a winter survival kit that contains (a minimum of) food, water, emergency flashers, jumper cables, flashlight, and a first aid kit.
- Slow down when approaching mountain curves.
- Observe other vehicles. If you see trucks exiting a highway before reaching a mountain pass, it could be due to blockage or other issues in that area. Remain alert and scan your surroundings.
These are just a few of driving safety tips that you should observe during snowy weather.
When it comes to ice and snow, you can never be too safe. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a truck accident due to winter conditions, reach out to a New York trucking accident lawyer immediately. Take advantage of a free consultation for your benefit.