January 6, 2022

Are You Ready for Winter Driving? Emergency Physician Dr. Andrew Old Reminds You to Drive Safely in the Snow

Even for New Englanders, it takes a bit of time to get used to driving in the snow after the first storm of the year. Heavy snow can affect visibility, and your ability to stop and turn safely, which puts you and other drivers at risk.

“It’s typical to see a few motor vehicle accident victims in our emergency department when a bad snowstorm hits,” says Andrew Old, MD, chief of Emergency Medicine at Saint Anne’s Hospital. “Injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to more life-threatening traumas. It’s important that everyone remember to buckle up and drive safely, or avoid driving if possible until the plows and sanders have made the roads safer for travel.”

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and Massachusetts Highway Division offer these safe winter driving tips:

  • Wear your seat belt!
  • Avoid driving during the worst part of the storm. If possible, only travel during daylight hours, don't travel alone, and stay on main roads instead of taking shortcuts.
  • Clear snow and ice from windows, lights, the hood, and the roof of your car before driving.
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement. Drive slower in bad conditions.
  • Bridges freeze first, making them more dangerous than the approach road. Use caution!
  • Exit ramps sometimes have less anti-icing material than the main highway. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.

Check out the full list of safe winter driving tips here.