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Penn DOT and Governor give safety tips for driving in winter weather

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Governor Tom Wolf give safety tips for driving in the winter.

  • Carry a cellphone and a winter emergency travel kit.
  • Listen to weather and travel advisories, if you don’t have to travel in bad weather, don’t.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Slow down and increase following distance between you and other cars.
  • Do not pass or get between trucks plowing in a plow line (several trucks plowing side by side).
  • Use your low beams in particularly bad weather, especially in cases of heavy or blowing snow.
  • Avoid abrupt stops and starts.
  • Remove ice and snow from windows, mirrors and all vehicle lights before you drive and as often as needed.
  • Make sure someone else knows where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
  • If you do become stranded, it’s better to stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine every hour or so, but make sure the tailpipe is clear and keep the downwind window cracked open.
  • Do not drink and drive, and always wear your seat belt.
  • Beware of roads that may look wet, but are actually frozen, often referred to as “black ice.”
  • Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, where ice can often form without warning.
  • Do not use cruise control while driving on snow-covered roads.
  • Turn on your headlights when your wipers are on.
  • Remove snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle. If snow or ice from your vehicle strikes a vehicle or person and causes death or injury, you can be ticketed.
  • Do not park or abandon your vehicle on snow emergency routes.


Being prepared is the best thing to do in order to successfully navigate winter roads. Winter weather can bring unexpected conditions, so make sure that both you and your vehicle are ready for ice and snow.

Click here to view a winter service guide that can help you stay safe during the winter weather.


This article was last updated on January 19, 2017.

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