Fulton, NY – With winter weather closing in Fulton Police want to remind motorists to make sure they leave enough space between vehicles when driving.
There is no clearly defined distance or formula to determine what a safe distance is but a number of factors need to be weighed.
The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law states, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the roadway.”
In other words drivers are expected to leave more room when the speed of traffic is faster, when the volume of traffic is heavier and when the road conditions are more hazardous such as wet or snow and ice covered roads.
When the snow starts falling soon it is especially important to do this.
For example, during a snow storm in January this year there were six motor vehicle accidents investigated by the City of Fulton Police Department in a 42 minutes span during evening rush hour.
Every one was a rear end collision and slippery conditions were a contributing factor in each.
However, if enough room was left between vehicles to allow for greater breaking distance it is likely each one could have been avoided.
The number of traffic tickets written for Following Too Closely when an motor vehicle accident has been involved thus far in 2011 is well above the past five year average.
It is very likely this is due in part to greater instances of distracted driving mainly due to greater cell phone use while driving.
As all motorists should know use of a cell phone while driving in New York State has constituted a traffic infraction for several years.
More recently the act of texting and the use of portable electronic devices has also become an infraction.
Distracted drivers need greater distance to stop safely.
The combination of slippery road conditions and being distracted, especially by talking on a cell phone or texting, greatly increases the chances of being involved in an accident.
As always, please take your time on our roadways and drive carefully.