Simple rules to follow when driving in snow

As snow fell on the area Monday, did you remember how to drive in it?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when it comes to winter-weather motor vehicle accidents, 17 percent occur during snow or sleet, 13 percent on icy pavement and 14 percent on snowy or slushy pavement.So, as we start the trek into winter, area driving professionals and law enforcement officials have weighed in with tips that can help beat accident statistics.Larry Crossett is a truck driver with RB Humphreys in Westmoreland and has been driving tractor-trailers on and off for 40 years.He said the biggest thing motorists need to remember when it comes to being visible on the road is that if you are driving behind a tractor-trailer and you can’t see the truck’s side mirrors, that means the truck driver can’t see you and you are following too closely.“They (motorists) don’t realize how long it takes us to stop (especially when hauling a loaded trailer),” Crossett said. “It can take six to seven times longer than in a car.”Another tip involves tinted glasses. Crossett said truck drivers often wear yellow polarized glasses when the day is murky and it is snowy or rainy.“In low-light conditions they light everything up. It takes away glare,” he said.Crossett said wearing amber-tinted glasses can reduce road glare that sometimes happens when the sun is at your back while driving.“We try to show them (how) to be seen (and) have their lights on at all times,” said Cindy Circelli, a driving instructor at Gigliotti’s Driving School in Utica, who has been teaching area teens the rules of the road for 40 years.“Slowing down would be the big thing,” and be able to judge weather and road conditions, she said.Madison County Acting Sheriff John Ball advised drivers to steer into skids and know whether to stomp on or pump brakes, depending on brake type.“Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work,” he said in a release, “and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.”

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