The New York State Department of Transportation is urging motorists across the state to use caution while driving today and tomorrow-possibly longer depending on what the weather does.

Their number one concern is snow and ice which is expected to blanket the region tonight and tomorrow.

The New York State Department of Transportation said today it had more than 400 snow plow trucks out on the roads, clearing the surface of snow, and spreading salt or sand where possible. This will certainly help keep the roads clear and increase safety to some degree but nothing takes the place of defensive driving skills which every driver should have.

In New York they use a graduated driver’s license system for new and inexperienced drivers. They also urge all drivers to use a defensive driving course and require auto insurance companies to offer a discount to drivers who do take and successfully complete the course. This helps prepare drivers for a litany of driving hazards, but there is still much to be said for common sense when you climb behind the wheel.

Driving on snow and ice is not like driving on a dry road. Your wheels can hydroplane, lose contact with the surface of the road, in a split second, and leave you without control of your vehicle. Your stopping distance, even your slowing distance, is greatly increased on slippery roads as is your ability to control your vehicle when rounding a curve or simply crossing a bridge.

The New York State Department of Transportation will be working hard to keep roads clear during the coming winter weather, but they need all defensive drivers to do their part at avoiding accidents and driving safe to help keep everyone safe and sound.