After the first bad winter commute of 2015, PennDOT announced Winter Driving Awareness Week (Jan. 11-17) and supplied safety tips for PA drivers.
PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch reminded drivers that it is our own responsibility to ensure that our vehicles are prepared for winter driving before we hit the road. Schoch recommends having vehicles serviced by a trained mechanic, who can check the condition of the battery, cooling system, wiper blades, hoses, and tires.
PennDOT also warned to be extra cautious when driving around snow removal equipment. The following tips came from a PennDot news release:
- Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
- Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
- When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
- Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
- Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
- Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.
For more winter driving tips, check out this article from the Havertown Patch.