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Winter Driving Safety Tips

Posted on November 15th, 2019

Winter driving is something that we have to deal with in Pennsylvania. It can be both frustrating and scary for travelers. Ice and snow on the roadway can present challenges that many people do not know how to overcome. There were over 128,000 crashes reported to the Pennsylvania DOT during the latest reporting year. Many of those accidents happened in icy or snowy conditions. With proper planning and practice, you will be prepared for this winter season.

How to Prepare for Driving in the Snow

Getting ready before the winter weather hits is important. You do not want to be left scrambling and unprepared once the first snowflake has already fallen.

  • Get some cold-weather gear inside your vehicle. Have some extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, glass scraper, medications, blankets, and more in the trunk. If you break down in cold weather, you will be prepared to ride it out until help can arrive.
  • Keep some jumper cables in the vehicle as well as some flares for the roadside.
  • Visit your mechanic for a tune-up and other routine maintenance. Get your brakes and fluids checked.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that the tread is not worn down.
  • Always keep your gas tank half full or more.
  • Do not warm your vehicle up in an enclosed area, like the garage.

Driving in the snow

When there has been a snow or ice storm, you need to be extra cautious. If at all possible, do not drive in wintery weather. This will keep you and others on the roadway safer.

  • Before you drive, clean snow and ice off of the windows, forward sensors, headlights, taillights, and backup camera.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. Know where you are going and how to get back and factor in traffic conditions.
  • Practice on side and backroads before driving on the main road. This will give you a chance to sharpen your winter weather driving skills.
  • If you have a new vehicle that you have never driven on ice or snow, take some extra practice time.
  • Drive slowly. Never rush when driving in the ice or snow and never use cruise control on slippery surfaces.

Tips for Long Distance Trips

If you are traveling long distances through winter weather, you need to be extra prepared.

  • Check the weather ahead of time for your entire route and expect delays if there is bed weather expected.
  • Let others know where you are going. Notify friends and family that you are going on a trip. Let them know your route, destination, and estimated time of arrival.

If you get stuck in the snow…

If you do get stuck in the snow and cannot get the vehicle free, notify the police immediately. Let them know where you are.

  • Your vehicle is your shelter. Do not try to walk in a severe storm.
  • Make yourself visible. If you have flares or flashing lights, use them. Tie a piece of brightly colored clothing to your antenna or at the top of a rolled-up window.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear. A blocked pipe can lead to deadly monoxide poisoning for the vehicle occupants.
  • Stay warm. If you have extra blankets, get them out. If not, you can use floormats, newspapers, or paper maps.
  • Be easy on your fuel. Turn on the vehicle long enough to head the vehicle up to remove the chill.

If you are involved in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, contact a Philadelphia car accident attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.