The New York Department of Transportation has issued numerous cautions this winter to drivers throughout the state, warning that icy roads spell dangers for drivers of all vehicles.

The winter weather in New York has been decidedly chilly, with their usual mix of snow, sleet and rain, but the extremely low temperatures have meant more ice accumulating on roads than some drivers might expect. There are also the usual cautions against driving in winter which every driver would do well to remember when winter starts.

The fact is that human beings seem to have a short memory when it comes to safe driving during specific seasons, namely winter. The first snow fall usually brings a flurry of fender benders as drivers suddenly find themselves with much shorter stopping distance than they had when the roads were warm and dry.

Also, those signs warning you that “Bridge Freezes Before Roadway” has a purpose. Because the bridges are elevated, and allow cold air to circulate beneath them. the road surface there will almost always freeze before the roads which is insulated beneath by the earth. That means drivers might be approaching a bridge on a road surface which is safe and not slippery, but as soon as they reach the bridge find themselves with little or no traction.

The best advice for winter time driving is to automatically reduce speed and increase your usual stopping distance. A good rule of thumb is to do everything be halves and doubles. Reduce your speed by at least half when the roads are snow or ice covered (and chances are you’ll have to reduce more than that) and double your stopping distance. Doing just those two things might just be enough to keep you safe on the roads in New York this winter. If you remember to do them.