About a week ago, every Pennsylvania driver’s nightmare came true when a pileup on the turnpike involved 100 vehicles. Drivers involved in the crashes or stuck just behind the five-mile jam were stranded on the road for hours waiting for emergency personnel to clear the road.
If you didn’t hear about the accidents, here is a summary. The morning after a big storm had dropped about a foot of snow in the area, commuters between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits of the highway reported very slick driving conditions during rush hour. According to ABC News, one witness reported that the roads appeared wet but were actually covered in ice. This led to two major pileups and a few minor accidents, involving 100 cars altogether. Thirty people were removed from the road in ambulances. Luckily, none of the injuries reported seemed major. The majority of the accidents happened around 8:30 am, but officials weren’t able to reopen the turnpike until around 4 pm.
During this time, drivers with stranded. Many did not have food or water and most were concerned about dwindling cell phone batteries. In essence, the scene was something those involved surely will never forget. Still, it has other PA drivers concerned about future scenarios. Given that it’s only February, it’s a safe bet that our area will see more snow this season. That’s why NBC came up with some driving safety tips, and we decided to incorporate some of our own in this list as well:
- Reduce speed and drive cautiously in bad weather. It’s better to be a little late to work than risk getting into an accident.
- Increase the following distance between cars; drivers need more time to brake when the roads are slippery.
- Clear snow off of your car to improve visual conditions for yourself and other drivers.
- Call police if you see something dangerous such as a tree limb out on the road.
- Keep a bottle of water and a nonperishable snack in your glove compartment and blankets in your trunk or back seat.
- If you are stuck on the road, stay in your car but turn off the engine to conserve fuel. Also, use your cell phone sparingly.