CANADAIGUA, NY – Extreme winds, whiteout conditions, and dangerously cold temperatures from Winter Storm Elliott will make travel on Friday, Dec. 23, and Saturday, Dec. 24, highly dangerous.
New York State Police Troopers will be out checking all major routes of travel to ensure that motorists are as safe as possible and working with local Emergency Operations Centers.
State Police advise motorists to drive only for emergency purposes. If you are on the roadways make sure you have a full tank of gas, food, and extra warming items in your vehicle in case emergency vehicles have a delayed response due to the extreme storm conditions.
Use your best judgment to determine if driving is prudent. Remember, if you can’t see out your windshield, first responders can’t either.
Keep the following tips in mind:
- Get the latest weather forecast before leaving with your local weather apps, monitor radio or TV stations.
- Always clean your windows and mirrors FULLY of any snow and ice before driving.
- Keep a full tank of gas
- Fluid levels are sufficient ( windshield washer fluid, ant-freeze)
- Spare tire is sufficient and you have the jack and wheel wrench
- Use headlights at all times to increase your visibility to others. Remember, if your windshield wipers are in use due to weather, then your headlights must be on.
- Drive prudently. If the conditions are adverse, you should decrease your speed accordingly.
- Brake early
- Do NOT use cruise control. This decreases your reaction time to apply braking.
- Look out for events farther down the road. Creating more time to react can make a difference.
- Be aware of maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles. Give them room to work.
- If you do not absolutely have to go out on the roads, then don’t.
If you do go out, is your vehicle prepared?
- Is your trunk supplied to help you to be safe in case you are stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available:
- Gloves, blankets, warmers, tool kit, first-aid kit, non-perishable foods, water, working flashlight and batteries, cell phone charger, etc
- Shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, snow brush, rock salt or cat litter, tow chain or cable, jumper cables or battery charger, etc.
If you are involved in a Collision or leave the roadway:
- If you drive off the roadway and are stuck in a snow bank or ditch, stay in your vehicle and call 911. DO NOT exit your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency. You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.
- Roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Tailpipes can become blocked by deep snow and cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the car and can lead to serious physical injury or death
- If you should become stranded on the Thruway or any roadway, know your location by being aware of your direction and milepost marker. This will help emergency personnel reach your location as quickly as possible.
Follow the New York State Police’s Twitter page @nyspolice for up-to-the-minute information on road closures and weather alerts.
The Thruway Authority provides a wide variety of information for travelers including current traffic conditions, accidents, and lane closures. Visit www.thruway.ny.gov for more information.