Updated 02/10/2011 06:00 AM
Winter driving tips
More than 130 inches of snow have fallen in the City of Syracuse so far this winter and people are running out of places to put it all. Huge snow banks are beginning to obstruct many intersections, adding to already hazardous road conditions. Our Erin Clarke joined us with some winter weather tips for drivers.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- These snow banks out here are getting pretty big. I'm about 5-foot-4 and this one is well over my head, so you can get an idea of just how much snow has accumulated.
They're a sign that the snow is being cleared off the streets to make driving easier, however they're still a hazard for drivers. I spoke with the general manager of Branch's Driving School and he had a few tips for people trying to get around these piles of snow.
It's being cleared off the roads. But now it's left in huge piles at intersections, making it difficult for drivers to see around street corners and tempting them to pick up some bad habits.
"People get too accustomed to rolling past the stop sign before they stop to get a better view," said John Schaefer, Branch's Driving School General Manager.
Those stop signs do seem to be set back even farther from the street corner with all that snow in the way.
But Schaefer says, resist the urge to stop ahead of those signs and follow what he calls the two step process.
"That two part process is so important to make sure I've got 100 percent physical control of the car if it's an icy patch there heading into the intersection. I know I'm not going to slide into it because I've already stopped my car," said Schaefer.
After that, Schaefer says the safest thing to do is slowly creep up, lean forward and proceed with caution until you can completely see around the snow bank. It seems like common sense and will take a bit of extra time, but that could make all the difference.
"When you're rushed, it adds to your risk because you're more stressed, more likely to possibly speed, make hasty decisions. Increased risk for you, increased risk for the public," said Schaefer.
Schaefer also says that people coming out of their driveways should follow the same creep up and lean forward rule. When the snow piles up at the foot of the driveways, homeowners should also back into their driveways so they are pulling out with a better view.