The snowy season has begun, which often means white out conditions, slippery roads and other inopportune driving conditions. Not only are the driving conditions lousy, but being caught in a snow storm can be incredibly scary and nerve-wrecking, so we’ve compiled these tips to help you keep safe and drive safe in winter weather.
- Call 511: Before driving call 511 PA to check the road conditions. If you’re calling from any landline or cell phone registered in the state of Pennsylvania, just dial “5-1-1.” Otherwise, make sure to call “1-877-511-PENN (7366).
- Avoid driving during the storm: If you can help it, stay off the roads during the worst of the storm. We know this is easier said than done, so if you have to drive – drive during the day, with someone, and on main roads that are more likely to be plowed, even if it takes longer.
- Clear off your car completely: We know you probably want to get to your destination and out of the cold as soon as possible, but definitely take the extra time to clean off your car completely. Remove all ice and snow from your car – the hood, lights, and roof before driving. It’s a law in Pennsylvania to remove all snow and ice from your car before hitting the road. You could face penalties ranging from $200 to $1,000, so please, take the time to clean off your car first.
- Give yourself extra time and extra room: Traveling in the winter takes longer than normal, so allow yourself more time to get to your destination. You should also leave extra room between you and the cars in front of you, as breaking takes longer in snowy conditions. If you drive an SUV you should be even more vigilant about this, you may have four-wheel drive but your car is heavier which means it takes you longer to come to a stop if needed.
- Forget about cruise control: This is a tip that goes beyond winter, when the roads are wet, icy, or sandy – forget about cruise control. Using cruise control in these conditions can lead to losing control of your car.
- Don’t crowd maintenance vehicles: You should be leaving extra room for other vehicles as it is, but be extra aware of plows and salt trucks that may make frequent stops. Also, never ever pass these vehicles on the right.
- Prep an emergency kit: Make sure you have an emergency kit prepped and ready in your car just in case your car breaks down. Need ideas for what to keep as emergency supplies in your car? Here are our top 10 ideas for things to keep in your car for winter.