Press Release - 10-29-2020

DMV news


Thursday, October 29, 2020      



Tips Offered to Prepare Vehicles and Drivers for Changing Weather Conditions

Watch DMV’s Winter Driving Tips Videos


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) offer tips to help New Yorkers winterize their vehicles and prepare to drive in more challenging weather conditions. Drivers are also reminded that they can now install snow tires on their vehicles. Under state law, snow tires can be used from October 16 through April 30.

“We cannot control the weather, but we can control how prepared we are to drive in winter conditions,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and GTSC Chair. “Following a few simple tips like driving slow, making sure your lights are clear and not covered with ice or snow, having ample windshield washer fluid, for example, will help keep you and others safe on the roads.”

Before driving, GTSC recommends these tips:

  • Check tire tread
  • Fill the gas tank
  • Clear/Clean all lights and windows
  • Fill the windshield washer reservoir
  • Remove all snow and ice including on top of the vehicle
  • Ensure the vehicle’s heater and defroster are working properly
  • Make sure the recommended amount of antifreeze is in the radiator
  • Get familiar with a new vehicle before driving in harsh weather conditions

When ready to drive, follow these tips:

  • Warm up the car so the defroster clears the windows.
  • Turn on headlights whenever windshield wipers are on. New York State law makes this mandatory.
  • Do not exceed the speed limit and always adjust speed to the road conditions.
  • Leave plenty of room between vehicles.
  • Don't try to pass or weave in and out of traffic. All drivers must be prepared to react if other drivers start to slide.
  • Do not drive during ice or snowstorms unless it is necessary.
  • When sleet, freezing rain or snow begin to fall, remember that bridges, ramps and overpasses will freeze first. Be aware that slippery spots may remain after snow is removed. 

The National Highway Safety Administration also offers 
winter driving tips and suggests keeping these supplies in the vehicle:

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper
  • Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case the vehicle gets stuck in the snow
  • Jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and emergency markers
  • Blankets
  • A cell phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or when driving in lightly populated areas)

Motorists are urged to check 511NY before traveling. The free travel information system is accessible 24 hours per day by calling 511 or visiting The service provides real-time traffic conditions and links to information about air, rail and transit services.

The 511NY website features a winter travel advisory system, with real-time travel reports and a color-coded map indicating which state roads are snow covered, ice covered, wet, dry, or closed to help drivers determine if travel is advisable. The system provides updated snow and ice conditions for interstates and other heavily traveled roads, as reported by snowplow operators.

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