By Sammi Cohen
Currently, Rochester is experiencing a mixture of wintry precipitation and snow, which is solidifying into icy road conditions as well as slick sidewalks. Furthermore, as ice collects on power lines, they become weighed down and more likely to break. This is causing power outages that could potentially last for days. Therefore, it has generally been advised that Rochester residents prepare heavily for the winter storms, taking into mind not only the road conditions over the course of the storm, but also the items that they will need in order to stay safe at home.
Nonetheless, there are some individuals who will need to hit the road either because they are commuting to work or because they need to go in search of important winter weather supplies. Additionally, the added complication of the COVID-19 pandemic means that lots of people may need to visit the hospital during these winter storms. Waiting for an ambulance may not be as attractive an option as driving.
No matter what your reasons for driving, it’s important to take road conditions extremely seriously. Several inches of snow are expected during the latest winter storm in Rochester, as well as ice and slush. Every year, 1.25 million people die in road crashes. An additional 20 to 50 million people sustain injuries or permanent disabilities as the result of car crashes annually, and the reality is that the likelihood of being in a car crash can significantly rise when you drive during severe weather incidents.
How Can I Prepare for Winter Storms in Rochester?
Your first priority should be avoiding the roads completely. If you have time, make sure that you stock your house with necessary groceries before the storm hits. This is both because many grocery stores will likely close temporarily due to severe weather, and because reaching those that do stay open will be remarkably dangerous during and shortly after a winter storm.
Firstly, make sure that you have everything that you need in order to live for a few days without leaving the house. Make sure that you have food that you can prepare even if your home doesn’t have electricity for a few days, as well as lots of bottled water that can be used to drink and to bathe with if need be. Another thing that you should consider when preparing to avoid driving for a few days is arranging a first aid kit. But of course, you can’t necessarily avoid driving entirely during the winter storm. Therefore, you should also explore safe driving tips in order to ensure that you are as safe as possible, with as little likelihood of running afoul of bad conditions as possible.
What Should I Do to Be Safe When Driving During a Winter Storm?
If you have time to do so, you should first make sure that you have the right winter tires for your vehicle. Not every car is going to work with the most common types of winter tires. For example, in October 2014, there were 43,000 Subaru vehicles sold in the United States. However, not all of those Subarus will necessarily correspond to the same types of winter tires. Having the wrong types of winter tires is as bad as or worse than having no winter tires at all. Winter tires create the kind of traction that will keep your car from sliding on black ice, and in this sense, they’re incredibly important. Additionally, tire chains can further enhance your ability to drive during bad Rochester weather. You should carry them in your car, and when the roads are slick, use them.
Once you’re on the road, you need to make sure that you aren’t driving too quickly. The reality is that driving too quickly can be deadly when the roads are icy, and it’s not worth risking your life. With that in mind, you should also be careful and make sure that you don’t brake too quickly. Both braking and accelerating too quickly can cause your car to slide and spin out over the ice, sending you off the road. Even if you manage to stay on the road and in control of your car, braking and accelerating too quickly on the road can cause your car serious damage.
But then, there is also the possibility that your car will slide over the ice regardless of how careful you are. In that case, you need to make sure that you increase your following distance so that if your car does skid and slide, you have more time to course-correct before you collide into the vehicle in front of you. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: whatever the distance that you keep between yourself and the car ahead of you when you’re driving on dry pavement, you need to multiple that by 10 in order to be safe when driving over ice. You should also avoid trying to pass other cars, as you may be more likely to lose control when you do so. Additionally, passing other cars will put you in closer proximity to them, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid. If other cars do attempt to pass you, you should very carefully steer towards the shoulder in order to give them more room.
In general, you should avoid driving at night, as this will obscure your vision and make it harder for you to tell when you’re dealing with ice. Additionally, you should check for ice around your windshield wipers. Even if your car’s thermometer reports temperatures above freezing, you shouldn’t trust them overly much.
While driving on these icy roads in Rochester may be hard to avoid, you need to do what you can to stay home. If you do need to drive, stay as careful as possible, and do everything you can to avoid a collision.
This entry was posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 at 11:21 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.