Winter is now just days away. Typically, the winter officially arrives on or around December 21st. Here in New York State, the winter season will last from December 21st through March 19th of 2024. Are you ready? Is your vehicle ready? There are a few simple things that you can do to prepare.

The forecast is not looking ideal for a white Christmas this year. It is a far cry from what we saw last year across New York State with blizzard conditions snarling traffic and creating deadly situations in some places in Western New York. This year, it looks like rain for the most part. However, if you grew up in New York State you know how quickly things can change.

Vehicles have come a long way over the last few years when it comes to safety and traction. Sure, four wheel drive is nice to have. However, most all wheel drive and four wheel drive vehicles have added technology and according to experts, these need to be off in winter.

Have you ever looked at the dashboard lights on the car you drive? What do they mean? When do you use this technology? For example, the button below, what is it for?

Photo by: Clay Moden

The traction control feature is normally set to "on" when the vehicle leaves the factory. There are some who advise to turn it off on snow and ice.

When it comes to modern vehicles, traction control is a gift from the heavens, but sadly it can cause more harm in winter situations. In some winter conditions, when the traction control kicks in, it will just create issues instead of helping you.

There are some who say that it is best to leave it on as it is an important safety feature that is helpful in the winter, most of the time. says that:

In the vast majority of driving situations, traction control is going to keep you safe. It’s an important system that you should keep activated nearly 100 percent of the time you are behind the wheel.

The best advice is to drive for the conditions. Driving too fast, or too slow, can create issues and it is important to follow all travel advisories.

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