Be Prepared If You Have To Travel In Winter Conditions
Even though we are well into the winter months, sometimes we need a refresher when it comes to winter driving, since we don't always have slippery conditions to deal with on a regular basis. And that includes me. Since I put on winter tires, I felt a bit more confident while driving on slippery roads, and that's not the attitude to take of course.
With a winter storm upon us, depending on where it lands, if at all, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has some good tips for safe driving during winter storms, if you really have to go out on the roadways.
Obviously, the first suggestion is to not venture out, but that's not always the answer, especially for those of us who have jobs to get to, no matter what the weather conditions are.
When you are on that icy, snowy, slippery roadway, keep in mind to stay at least six car lengths behind any vehicle in front of you if possible. I learned that the hard way a few years ago. I was driving too close to a vehicle that was beginning to pass a snowplow truck and for whatever reason, slammed on the brakes. That didn't turn out well.
If you are driving near a snowplow truck, you know that vehicle is most likely going to be moving at a slower pace than you are. PennDOT recommends you avoid traveling next to a snowplow truck because the driver can't see you and they are prone to quick movements sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
And you may have seen snowplow trucks side by side plowing in what is called a 'Plow Train.' You should never try to pass by them or get between them. Doing so could cause some serious accidents.
And if you have to travel in winter weather conditions, PennDOT recommends these items for your vehicle:
Drivers should prepare or restock their emergency kits with items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies. - PennDOT