The winter season has arrived which means the possibility of snowy and icy weather is always present in Pennsylvania. This snowy and icy weather makes travel on the roadways difficult and dangerous. Motorists should avoid traveling during winter storms if possible. However certain situations make it impossible to avoid driving in bad weather. If you must be on the road during a winter storm you should use caution while driving.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement each year. Additionally, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet each year.
Heavy snow can greatly restrict or virtually eliminate a driver’s visibility. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy which can lead drivers to take less caution then is needed to travel safely. Driving in wintery conditions is hard enough when taking proper care. Don’t add bad decision making and recklessness to the equation or there could be disastrous results for you or the other motorists on the road.
Tips for winter driving
- Avoid unnecessary trips
- Clean snow and ice off of the vehicle before driving
- Have an emergency kit in your car
- Turn on your headlights even during the day
- Always buckle up
- Stay alert
- Avoid distractions.
- Use defroster and wipers.
- Drive at a speed that is safe for the conditions.
- Keep a safe distance between vehicles
- Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
- Never drink and drive.
PennDot allows motorists to check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. This service is free and available 24 hours a day. It provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras.