With the first snow storm of the season being forecast and the start of Chanukah we feel the need to remind travelers of the dangers of travelling during a serious snowstorm. Recent history has shown that the more serious road accidents happen during the night and early morning hours. The combination of fatigue resulting from night travel and snowy, icy roads seem to be the contributing factors. Over the years we have responded to numerous accident scenes on the I‐87 and Hwy 15, involving serious personal injury and even fatalities R”L in a number of cases.
During the winter months it can sometimes happen that NY has clear and sunny conditions, while Montreal experiences snowy or icy conditions. Oftentimes, it’s just the Adirondack region, a mountainous area from Lake George to Plattsburgh that is affected by poor driving conditions. Another dangerous spot is Hwy 15, from the Canadian/US border to the city of Montreal; the highway cuts through a huge expanse of open fields which may cause white out conditions resulting in poor visibility. Another important thing to remember: should you change your travel plans, remember to notify your loves ones, in order to avoid unnecessary panic. This issue seems to come up frequently with families that are traveling to and from Montreal and NY, and change their travel plans at the last minute due to weather conditions. When they forget to notify parents or extended family, unnecessary panic may ensue.
And lastly, it’s crucial to get travel insurance, which can be obtained for a minimal charge, before travelling. We have personally witnessed cases where people saved thousands of dollars thanks to the few dollars they spent on travel insurance; in contrast, many families were hit with charges worth thousands of dollars, and some were simply not able to get the care they needed, due to the lack of travel insurance.
It is also important to make sure that you have enough windshield washer fluid, it’s advised to take along an extra bottle for long distance travel. For residents of Quebec it’s the law, you must have winter tires starting Dec 15. Make sure that you have a properly sized child safety seat for your children and that it’s properly installed.
What to do in case you are Chas V’Sholom involved in an accident while travelling:
If you are involved in an accident even if it is minor, and there are no injuries, the first thing you should do is call 911!! Also, stay in your car unless it is unsafe to do so. If you must leave your car, make sure to move to a safe location. Why is calling 911 important? First of all they have a GPS tracking of all cell calls, and will have your exact location. Even if the accident is minor, another vehicle travelling behind you may skid and hit your vehicle, so it’s important to get help as soon as possible. After you have called 911, contact Hatzoloh Montreal, 514-341-1818, 877-341-1818.
Why contact Hatzoloh Montreal?
Many years ago, with the help of Rabbi Berish Freilich, we established a relationship with the NY State Police, and have been working closely with them in providing assistance to individuals involved in serious road accidents. Hatzoloh Montreal also has a close working relationship with personnel at most local hospitals in Northern NY, which helps us to ensure that members of our community receive proper treatment should they need it. We are also able to arrange transfers to appropriate facilities in Montreal or New York City, should the need arise.
We understand the need to travel for Simchos, or other important reasons, but please remember to do it safely.