Press Release - 11-12-19

DMV News

November 12, 2019

Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]

Tim O’Brien
[email protected]




Tips offered to prepare vehicles and drivers for changing weather conditions

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) joined today in offering tips to winterize your vehicle and to adjust to driving 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.

“The weather outside does not have to be frightful,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and GTSC Chair. “By taking steps to prepare your vehicle and yourself, you can drive in winter conditions safely and with confidence.”

To make sure your vehicle is ready for the winter, GTSC recommends asking yourself a series of questions about its preparedness:

  • How's the tread on your vehicles' tires?
  • Is the recommended amount of antifreeze in the radiator?
  • Is the windshield washer reservoir full?
  • If you have been driving on salted and sanded roads, have you cleaned off your lights and windows?
  • Will the heater and defroster clear icy and fogged windows?
  • And do you have enough gas just in case you get stuck in slow moving traffic?

When you’re ready to start driving, here are some tips to follow:

  • Before moving your car, be certain to remove all snow and ice from it including the top of the vehicle’s roof. Snow and ice flying off your car can cause driving distractions for you and other drivers. It could hit and damage other vehicles or cause a crash.
  • Warm up the car so the defroster has a chance to clear the windows.
  • Turn on your headlights when you turn on your windshield wipers. New York State law makes this mandatory.
  • Do not exceed the speed limit and always adjust your speed to the road conditions.
  • Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Don't try to pass or weave in and out of traffic. Even if your vehicle has good traction in ice and snow, you must be prepared to react if other drivers start to slide.
  • Familiarize yourself with the vehicles you drive before you take them out in inclement weather.
  • Do not drive during ice or snow storms unless it is absolutely 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. Included in the tips is to be sure your vehicle has the right supplies:

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.
  • Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
  • Jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and emergency markers.
  • Blankets for protection from the cold.
  • 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.

For more information about DMV, visit, or follow the DMV conversation online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.