Driving in and around New York City presents serious challenges for all drivers. These risks come in the form of heavy traffic, less than ideal roadways, distracted and impaired drivers and difficult weather conditions.
Winter storms that bring snow and ice exacerbate all of these challenges.
Icy January roads
NBC New York reported on a series of motor vehicle accidents that resulted in serious injuries and fatalities in New York and New Jersey. Icy and rain-slicked roads led to about 150 crashes in the region in early January.
A thin glaze of ice on the roadways caused drivers to lose control and resulted in several multiple vehicle pileups. The collisions came in many forms:
- A jack-knifed tractor-trailer on I-80
- One confirmed death on Route 3 in New Jersey
- A second death on the Westchester Cross County Parkway
- An estimated 90 or more crashes in New York
Authorities closed sections of roadways throughout the tri-state area. They also instituted temporary speed reductions on icy sections of roads.
Helpful driving tips
While dangerous winter conditions sometimes happen quickly, drivers can reduce accidents by paying attention to weather reports in winter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these tips for safe winter driving:
- Increase following distance behind other vehicles
- Drive on good winter tires with proper inflation levels
- Fill up your windshield wiper fluid reservoir before heading out
- Make sure your heater and defroster work to keep the windshield clear
Drivers who live in wintry destinations should also stock their vehicles with safety supplies. These include ice scrapers, a cell phone, extra food and water, a blanket and jumper cables. Proper precautions can help drivers prepare for winter conditions on the East Coast.