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As we move further into the winter the weather on Long Island is taking a turn for the worse. Meteorologists anticipate low temperatures and our first snowfall of the season on Wednesday. While it’s only expected to be a light dusting, it reminds us that Long Islanders often have to deal with dangerous conditions during the winter months. The snow, freezing rain and ice can all pose a threat to the safety of Long Islanders this season.

It’s always good to keep in mind some simple safety precautions to take during the winter months that may help you avoid having an accident. First, be aware of the weather conditions while you are driving and walking outside. Know if the temperature is low enough for roadways and walkways to freeze. While 32 degrees is the freezing mark, you should be aware that if the temperature falls below 37 degrees there is a chance that some bridges, roadways and sidewalks may be slippery with ice.

If it is snowing, reduce your speed while driving. This is important for all vehicles, even ones with all wheel drive. While certain vehicles perform well in snow, it’s important to drive them at a safe speed because even all-wheel drive vehicles slip and slide on snowy or icy roads. And just because your vehicle may perform well in the snow, it doesn’t mean that others do. You may find yourself in a position where another vehicle strays into your path, so it is important to always maintain a safe speed while driving in the snow.

Another hazard to be on the lookout for this winter is Black Ice. Be aware that sidewalks, parking lots and driveways may contain black ice, especially early in the morning and at night. What is black ice, and how is it different from regular ice?
Many walkways, parking lots and driveways and sidewalks have snow that melts onto their surfaces during the warmer daylight hours, only to freeze over again at night. This presents a very real possibility of black ice. Black ice may be difficult to detect because the slick surface may not appear to be frozen. It is also extremely slippery. Be vigilant and don’t assume that these areas will be free of ice because they have been cleared.

Finally, should you find yourself the victim of a slip and fall as a result of an icy condition, do not hesitate to report the fall to the property owner or business owner, even if you do not believe that you are hurt. In New York State, property owners and business owners have a responsibility to keep their properties safe and free of dangerous conditions .

Make sure that you get a copy of any report and take pictures of the icy condition that caused your fall. Should you develop pain in the days following your accident you will be glad that you did.