Winter has definitely arrived in Syracuse and Central New York, with snow and ice having already begun. Driving in bad weather is always a challenge when there is snow and ice on the roadways. All to often drivers forget to use extra caution and sometimes drivers are not prepared or accustomed to these types of road conditions. Weather related crashes can be particularly stressful around the holiday season. If you look back at 2012, bad weather accounted for 4 percent of traffic fatalities around Thanksgiving. On an average, 58,000 people are injured every year in auto accidents as a result of snow and sleet.

• Keep safe and practice these winter weather-driving habits.
• Slow down, regardless of your vehicle type. Even a 4-wheel drive SUV is helpless on ice.
• Leave plenty of room between you and the cars around you.
• Do not use cruise control.
• If you start to skid, turn your wheel in the direction you want to go and ease your foot off the gas.
•Avoid abrupt acceleration or braking.
• Take extra care when traveling on bridges and overpasses, as they commonly are the first areas to freeze.
• Avoid passing snow plows.

To be ready for the cold months ahead in Syracuse and Central New York, here is how you should prep your car for the winter:

• Check your car’s fluids and top off your antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.
• Properly inflate your tires.
• Keep your gas tank full so you don’t run out of gas if you happen to get stuck.
• Test your battery.
• Check your windshield wipers, replace if necessary.
• Keep a snow brush, first aid kit, blankets along with some food and water in your vehicle.
• Make sure your cellphone or smartphone is with you and charged.

Winter weather driving can be treacherous at times. If you don’t feel comfortable driving in the snow and ice, it is best to remain at home if possible. If you have to brave the road conditions, be sure to allow yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination and drive slowly, and be patient of other drivers on the road. With a little preparation you can help keep yourself and other with you safe this season.

At McMahon, Kublick & Smith we have been there to help drivers that have been in winter auto accidents because of other drivers. We know first hand how bad weather conditions can turn a simple drive into a nightmare. If you are a victim of an auto accident please give our attorneys a call so we can explain options so that you always remain informed and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.