Cold temperatures, freezing rain and snow are a fact of life and winter living for Pennsylvania residents. Driving a car during winter is quite different from driving during summer or spring. Our Philadelphia residents may find the following winter driving tips from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania State Police helpful in preventing car accidents.
In general, regardless of the season and time of year, it is against the law for drivers to drink and drive, to fail to wear seat belts, to speed and to text and drive. These illegal activities, coupled with slick winter driving conditions, can potentially result in serious and fatal car accidents.
Regardless of whether one has a short or long commute, it is very important to plan ahead and give oneself extra travel time. Before getting ready to drive, it is important for drivers to listen to and watch PennDOT electronic messages for road conditions and other weather-related updates such as accidents, stalls, slick conditions, road closures and more. In some cases, it may be advisable to stay at home and not drive unless absolutely necessary.
If one has no option but to drive, then having a vehicle in a working order is essential, not only for one’s own safety, but also that of others. It is always a good idea to clear snow and ice from not only the windshield, but also from all windows and from the body of the car. Keeping adequate tire pressure, having a full tank of gas, inspecting tires, wipers blades and checking the levels of both the washer fluid and anti-freeze is important.
While driving in winter, foggy conditions can result, snow can fall and windy conditions can result in drifting and blowing snow, which decrease visibility. Thus, turning on one’s headlights and having them in working order is important. Slowing down while driving on exit ramps and bridges can help minimize collisions with other vehicles. If one sees a snowplow, it is good to give the snowplow operator a lot of space and to exercise extreme caution when overtaking the snowplow. Despite these tips, accidents can still happen. If one is involved in an accident and has suffered an injury, contacting a personal injury attorney for more information may be helpful.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,”PennDOT recommends these safety tips for winter driving,” accessed Jan. 26, 2015