PENNSYLVANIA, USA — As winter weather takes over South Central Pa., it’s important to remember to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel. However, if you must head out, it’s important to practice safe driving while navigating the snowy streets.
The main cause of winter weather accidents on the road?
“What we see typically see during snow events – whether it’s just snow [or] whether it’s snow and rain and ice – is that people drive too fast for conditions,” PennDOT representative Fritzi Schreffler said.
To promote winter driving safety, Schreffler shared her tips on how drivers can stay safe and avoid getting into an accident when the roads are slick and snowy.
Tip number one: Make sure your car is ready for harsh weather.
“Make sure you have a full gas tank, your windshield wiper fluid is filled up, that your windshield wipers themselves are in good working condition, and that you have good tread on your tires are filled to the proper pressure,” Schreffler said.
Tip number two: Don't over-correct if your car starts to slide.
“If you feel your vehicle start to slide, do not hit the brakes because that is likely to send you into a spin," Schreffler said. "If you already feel like you are starting to slide off the road, don’t overcorrect and try to go the opposite direction. Don’t jerk the wheel real hard in any direction, just slightly turn it in the direction your vehicle is going."
Tip number three: Don’t tailgate, and make sure you proceed with caution when you change lanes.
“This is not the time to be following anybody too closely," Schreffler said. "...You can turn the wheel just a little bit and start sliding, and if you see that the road looks wet, assume it's black ices."
Schreffler also suggests looking at 511pa.com before heading out on the roads.
“They can take a look at cameras all across the state," she said. "There are numerous cameras, close to 100, just in our eight county region that they can take a look at and see what the traffic conditions are like in real time. They can also track our plows."