New York City, NY

How To Drive Safely During Winter In New York

Matt Lillywhite
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

"The first significant snow of the season could be hitting the tri-state right after the long holiday weekend," per NBC New York. "The latest forecast shows that snowfall could start Sunday night and last into Monday morning, as temperatures dip to around or below the freezing mark."

Winters in New York City can be dangerous due to the intense cold, heavy snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain. Hazardous driving conditions are expected throughout New York this winter due to heavy snow and icy surfaces.

According to the New York State government, you should "plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert. Remember, snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions." You should also assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they typically freeze a lot more quickly than road surfaces. According to the CDC, you can do the following things to ensure your vehicle is ready for cold weather:

  • Service the radiator and maintain the antifreeze level.
  • Check your tires' tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
  • Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.

It's also a good idea to have good winter tires with adequate tread. "All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. You may also want to carry a set of tire chains in your vehicle for heavy snow conditions," per the CDC.

The US government recommends keeping an emergency supply kit in your car since heavy snow in New York can easily cause your vehicle to be stranded. It might include:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

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