Police: ‘Go slow, pay attention'
The recent blast of cold and snow signals the beginning of the winter driving season.
Even though the official start of winter isn't for another 15 days, the conditions the last several days indicate the mild fall weather is over for at least a while.
The snow and winds have caused area roads to periodically glaze over, resulting in numerous fender benders, according to local police agencies.
With snowfall and freezing temperatures expected to continue throughout the week, police are asking motorists to be careful.
“Go slow, check on the route you're going to use and pay close attention to road signs,” said Corning Police Chief Salvatore Trentanelli. “And of course the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is use your seat belt.”
Snow showers are expected to continue this afternoon and continue throughout the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
“It will be a tough week of driving,” Trentanelli said. “We just want everyone to be careful.”
Mike Harris, Corning city superintendent of public works, stressed the importance of residents complying with the alternate street parking regulations.
“Parking along snow-covered streets can be hazardous and can prevent highway crews from removing snow,” Harris said. “If your vehicle becomes disabled, notify the police department, then try to move the vehicle as soon as possible.”
Trentanelli said vehicles illegally parked that hamper snow removal will be towed at the owner's expense.
Tom Perry, co-owner of J&T Auto Cafe on Bridge Street, said motorists shouldn't underestimate the importance of winterizing their vehicles.
“Tire pressure is crucial and always check your antifreeze and washer fluid,” Perry said. “It's mostly basic stuff. Make sure you have a good set of windshield wipers and scrape your windows before driving.”
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly to avid skids.
• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads.
• The normal dry pavement following distance of 2-3 seconds should be increased to 8-10 seconds.
• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
• Don't stop if you can avoid it. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until the light changes, do it.
• Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
• Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
• Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't.
• Don't put off a 30,000-mile full service.
• Flush the cooling system and replace the coolant.
• Replace the windshield wiper blades.
• Have the battery serviced and load-tested. If the battery is more than 4 1/2 years old, replace it.
• Check the tire pressure.
• Check the spare tire and all tire-changing equipment.
• Make sure the tires are in good condition.
• Check the lights, heater and defroster.
• Keep the gas tank as full as possible to prevent moisture from freezing in the gas lines.
• Get a brake check.
n Put together an emergency winter kit for the trunk of your car: a blanket, extra boots and gloves, an ice scraper, a small snow shovel, a flashlight and kitty litter.