As a driver, it’s your responsibility to know how to drive through the different road conditions in New York.
This is why it’s important to know safe driving tips.
Don’t know it?
Don’t worry – we’re going to give you all the safety tips you need to know about when driving through New York road conditions.
Here, we’ll look at:
- How to drive safely in work zones
- How to drive safely at night
- How to drive safely in rain and fog
- How to drive safely in winter
- How to drive safely with deer
So let’s get started right away!
How to Drive Safely in Work Zones
All around New York, you’ll find roads with temporary work zones. These areas can be such a hazard if you’re not careful.
When you’re passing a work zone, remember to keep these tips in mind:
- Look for a suggested detour and take that route. It’s always best to avoid a work zone when there is an alternate route offered.
- If there are no alternate roads, look for flaggers or signs on where you should pass.
- Leave space between you and the barricades.
- Watch out for crossing construction workers. Most of them will wear reflectors, but their work clothes might not be visible enough at night.
- Merge carefully with other vehicles. Be patient and take turns in entering the road.
- Keep a braking distance of two seconds or more between you and the vehicle in front.
How to Drive Safely at Night
Driving at night becomes dangerous because visibility is low. Plus, glare from lights makes it even more difficult to see clearly.
If you drive at night (and we’re almost certain you will), here are safety tips to note:
- Always look ahead and be alert. Drowsy driving is one of the main causes of car crashes at night.
- Turn on your low-beam headlights after the sun sets and until the sun rises. Do not use high-beam headlights if there are approaching vehicles. This is because it will be hard for the other driver to see.
- Increase your driving distance between you and other vehicles.
- Reduce the bright lights inside your car (coming from phones, screens, etc). This will help your eyes adjust to the light inside vs the lack of light outside.
- Only drive at a speed that will allow you to stop easily. Remember, larger vehicles take longer to fully stop, so speed should be lower and the distance between cars bigger.
How to Drive Safely in Rain and Fog
If nighttime lower your visibility, rain and fog can lower it even more. These conditions also leave the roads wet, reducing vehicle control.
Here are safety measures you can do to avoid accidents during rain and fog:
- In the rainy season, use a set of tires that have great wet traction.
- Do not speed. When you drive fast, water goes to your tires, making them lose grip on the pavement. Your tires might also end up riding on water, which causes hydroplaning.
- If the rain is too heavy or the fog too thick, park your car away from the road and let the rain/fog subside. If you don’t have to hurry, it’s best to take shelter and avoid heavy rains.
- If you are expecting to have low visibility due to fog, switch or add fog lights to improve the visibility of the road.
- Make sure that your fog lights are properly installed. Red fog lights are required when placed at the rear of your vehicle.
- You are required to turn on your headlights when you need to use your windshield wipers to wipe rain, snow, or fog. Daytime lights are not considered headlights.
- Use low-beam headlights. High-beam headlights reflect droplets of snow, rain, or fog.
- If you need to make a turn, flash your signal earlier than usual to give others time to see and react to your movement.
How to Drive Safely in Winter
In all New York road conditions, winter is the most difficult to drive in. This is because, apart from the damp roads, there’s also ice that can make it extra slippery.
Before winter, here are some preparations needed:
- Change your tires to snow tires. Choose a tire that has a strong grip on icy roads.
- Pack an emergency kit in your car. This should include blankets, extra food, first aid, flashlights, and batteries.
- Test your brakes. It should be in good working condition at all times.
During the winter season, here’s what to do:
- Avoid going outside if the snow is heavy.
- Remove snow on all parts of your vehicle before leaving.
- Drive slowly and be wary of “invisible ice” or “black ice”. These areas are where vehicles are most prone to skidding.
- If your vehicle starts to skid, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go. Do not step on the gas or slam on the brakes – this will only make the skidding faster and more dangerous.
- Be wary of roads where snow was already removed. You might think that, since there is no more snow, it’s fine. However, these roads can still be slippery and have lingering ice on them.
How to Drive Safely with Deer
Deer breed and often travel in the last quarter of each year. So if you’re driving in New York during that time, expect to encounter a deer crossing, especially at dusk and dawn.
When you encounter a deer, here’s what to do:
- Slow down when you’re approaching the deer. Leave enough room between you and the animal since they might bolt.
- Do not honk excessively. This might alarm the deer and let them go in different directions.
- Use your flashing lights to warn drivers of an approaching deer.
- When you see a deer crossing warning sign, look to your sides to check if there are deers that might cross the road soon.
And those were the safe driving tips for different New York road conditions.
Knowing how to handle different road conditions makes you less panic and keeps you more in control of the situation. In turn, that will help you be a safe and responsible driver.
So as you go through the different New York road conditions, remember to keep these tips in mind — and follow them.