Last week a tractor-trailer hauling debris from hurricane Sandy caused a massive pile-up on the Long Island Expressway which resulted in one death and almost three dozen injured persons who were traveling that roadway at the time. There 35 vehicles involved in the crash, including the tractor trailer which police say caused the initial crash.

The debris has been cleared and the roadway opened, but reminders of the pile-up, assorted small debris and tire marks on the roadway, remain as indication that the LIE is a dangerous place to drive, even during the best of driving conditions. As we head into winter the roadway will become more treacherous. Snow and ice are hazards which many New Yorkers have become accustomed to, but even the best drivers make mistakes every now and then, leaving other drivers at risk of a collision.

The best advice for drivers who will be using the Long Island Expressway is to be prepared for anything, but especially poor driving conditions caused by bad weather. Traffic congestion is always present on the LIE and commuters know this, but visitors who use the expressway probably don’t. Be aware of them, they likely won’t be sure they are in the correct lane, and might not be keeping up with traffic.

Defensive is all about being aware of your surroundings at all times. it means not only knowing what your vehicle is doing but also all the vehicles around you. And not just what they are currently doing, but also what they MIGHT do at any moment. Always give your vehicle enough space to stop suddenly without causing a collision, slow down and move away from traffic if the situation seems dangerous, and above all esle, drive with caution at all times, whether you are on the Long Island Expressway or not.