Red Cross offers safe winter driving tips

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for much of Western New York starting early today, with moderate to heavy lake effect snowfall possible. Driving in a winter storm presents its own unique challenges. The Red Cross has steps people can follow to get their vehicle ready for winter as well as what they should do if they are caught in a winter storm.

“Check your vehicle and stock it with some emergency supplies,” said Kenneth J. Turner, regional disaster officer and interim CEO, American Red Cross, Western and Central New York Region. “The best thing you can do is stay off the roads during a winter storm.”


Plan ahead. Have a mechanic check tires, battery, brakes and antifreeze levels. Make sure the vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, shovel, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk.


≤ Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help see.

≤ Pay attention to the weather forecast. Before one leaves, let someone know where one is going, the route planned and an estimated time of arrival.

≤ Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.

≤ Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.

≤ Don’t pass snow plows.

≤ Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.