SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Tuesday’s Lake Effect storm, which saw two to six inches of snow fall in Syracuse according to AAA, brought icy and snowy conditions to the road for the first time this winter. While Central New York drivers frequently see conditions like these during the winter months, organizations such as AAA still receive plenty of calls from distressed citizens who need help on the road.
Valerie Puma, communication specialist for AAA Western and Central New York, said the first snowfall can be a tricky time for drivers who aren’t prepared for the cold.
“It’s been a year since the last time that drivers were really dealing with this kind of weather and this specific type of driving,” Puma said. “So for a lot of drivers, you’re kind of getting back into the swing of that winter driving style.”
One critical part Puma believes drivers should have on hand is an emergency kit. This could contain items such as a snow shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, blanket, and gloves.
“Put that in the backseat,” Puma said. “[You have it] if something were to go wrong and you end up on the side of the road.”
While behind the wheel, Puma said safety precautions such as slowing down, increasing space between vehicles, and cautiously braking before turning can prevent accidents and damage.
“You don’t need to be going as fast as you normally would on a perfectly warm dry road day,” Puma said. “It’s just remembering those those different driving tips as we enter the winter season.”
According to Puma, as of Wednesday, 11/29, at 11am for Syracuse metro and rural areas, AAA’s call volume is trending slightly higher with tow requests compared to a typical winter day. If drivers do find themselves needing assistance during the winter, Puma said it’s important to stay inside the vehicle.
“Your car is going to be easier to see then you on the side of the road,” Puma said.