Weekly Feature



2017-12-13 / Editorials

Tips for driving safely in the snow

Friday’s winter storm was felt in Clarence, as well as across Western New York. It’s not something people around here aren’t used to, yet every year it seems like there are always a few people who forget how to drive when the roads get slick. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt last week, but we still have several months of winter ahead of us. With that, here’s a few things to keep in mind before you hit the roads on particularly blustery mornings.

Drive slowly, slowly, slowly. This cannot be said enough. All too often, people think that their four-wheel drive SUV can handle whatever Mother Nature throws our way, and overestimate just how slippery the roads actually are. These are the same people that wind up in a ditch, or in the worst case scenario, plow into another vehicle. Something to keep in mind is four-wheel drive vehicles are heavier than other cars and therefore take longer when it comes to stopping. Remember that other drivers will be driving more slowly, and your commute will be a bit longer than usual. Accelerating, stopping turning — nothing happens as quickly when the roads are covered in several inches of snow. Plan accordingly and give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

Also, remember to leave plenty of room behind the vehicle in front of you. According to Geico, drivers should leave three to four car lengths between them and the vehicle in front of them. That way, there is enough room to hit the brakes without worrying about damaging the car in front. On that note, make sure your brakes — and the rest of your car — are in good working order.

Sometimes the snow gets so heavy and makes driving nearly impossible. During these whiteout conditions, the best thing to do is pull over, turn on your hazard lights and wait it out. If you’re running your car, make sure to crack your windows a little bit to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow.

If pulling over is not an option, slow down as much as possible. Any driver in East Aurora knows how quickly the conditions can change; without the ability to see other drivers, you may not have the ability to react accordingly. Keep your hazard lights on and consider using hand signals to communicate with other drivers.

The best way to avoid an accident is to avoid driving in these conditions. Of course, we all have responsibilities and often, staying home is not an option. Make sure your car is prepared for the winter weather, and stay safe this winter.

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