EDITORIAL: First snowfall. Get prepared for winter driving

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Categories: Editorial, Opinion

Chances are when you look out your window this morning, you might see something on the ground that you haven’t in quite a few months. Snow.

The Capital Region is expected to get its first dose of the white stuff today, perhaps only half an inch or so. But still, enough to alter driving conditions.

Now is a good time to remind ourselves that unless we’ve been in the upper Midwest in the past week or so, it’s likely we haven’t driven in it in quite a while.

Now is a good day to shift our brains into winter driving mode.

If experience is any indication, it will take us all a bit of time to get those winter driving skills back.

Here are some tips from the safemotorist.com to get back in the groove.

Be extra alert and keep more space between you and fellow drivers. They’re also driving in the snow for the first time.

You’re likely to encounter a snow plow or sander today. Give them plenty of space front and side.

Cars in winter take longer to stop in snow. Give yourself three times as much space to stop as you normally would.

Remember to accelerate and decelerate slowly and steadily. Stay in control of your vehicle. Drive at a safe speed, even lower than the speed limit if necessary.

Now is also a good time to get your car ready for the winter.

Tire pressure is something you can adjust today. Every time the temperature drops 10 degrees, the air pressure in your tires goes down about one or two PSI. That can affect stopping and steering. Fill those tires when you stop for coffee today.

Make sure before you leave today that your windshield washer fluid container is full because salt and grime is now a problem. Keep at least a half a tank of gas in your car. And check the lights and wipers to make sure they’re all working.

For the long-term, check your tire tread and replace your tires if needed. Or make an appointment to get your snow tires put on.

If you’ve got a weak battery, stop and get a new one now before you get stuck.

If you haven’t heard, the covid exemption for New York state inspections expires on Tuesday. If you haven’t already, now is an ideal time to get an inspection.

Pick up a snow brush and a scraper and toss it in the trunk.

The first snow is a not-so-subtle reminder of what’s to come.

Start today getting prepared behind the wheel for trouble, adjust your driving to winter conditions, and get where you’re going safely.

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