JAMESTOWN – New York State Police are advising motorists to avoid any unnecessary travel during this winter storm that is forecast to bring a significant amount of snow and -25 degree below zero wind chills across Western New York Wednesday into Thursday evening.
State Police said troopers will be out on the major thoroughfares around the region, working with local Emergency Operations Centers as needed.
Motorists are asked to give themselves some extra time to reach their destination. Those who are traveling out should take into consideration snow accumulation on the roads, how heavy the snow is falling, how gusty the winds are and current visibility.
State Police are reminding residents of these tips to stay safe during winter driving:
- 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.
- Make sure your trunk is fully supplied to help you to be safe in case you are stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available:
- Gloves, blankets, warmers, tool kit, first-aid kit, non-perishable foods, water, working flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger, etc
- Shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, snow brush, rock salt or cat litter, tow chain or cable, jumper cables or battery charger, etc.
If you drive off the roadway and are stuck in a snow bank or a ditch, stay in your vehicle and call 911. Do not exit your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency. You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.
Roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Covered mufflers can cause serious physical injury or death due to inhalation of carbon monoxide.
Always know your location by being aware of your direction and mile post marker closest to you. This will help emergency personnel reach your location as quick as possible.
Follow the New York State Police’s Twitter page @nyspolice for up to the minute information on road closures and weather alerts.
The Thruway Authority provides a wide variety of information for travelers including current traffic conditions, accidents, and lane closures. Visit www.thruway.ny.gov for more information.