Even with a weekend thaw in progress, state officials are highlighting the need for drivers to keep in mind winter driving safety.
The state observes Winter Driving Awareness Week this year from January 12 through January 18. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says we should all ensure that our “vehicles are properly equipped and mechanically ready to deal with winter driving challenges.
Safety officials remind drivers to make sure their heating-and-cooling systems, batteries, hoses, belts, tires and wiper blades are in good condition and are properly functioning.
Motorists should carry a vehicle emergency kit containing items such as water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies, warm clothing, a blanket, a phone charger and a small snow shovel. Make sure to tailor your kit to meet any specific family needs, such as baby or pet supplies or extra medications.
A PennDOT-issued list of cautions while driving near snow-removal equipment reminds drivers to stay at least six car lengths behind a plow truck, to remember that the trucks normally travel more slowly than other vehicles, and to move as far away from the center of a highway as you can when a plow is approaching. Do not pass a plow or attempt to squeeze between two plow trucks traveling in tandem. Do not travel next to a plow truck on a multi-lane road. And, remember that Pennsylvania state law requires your vehicle lights to be turned on anytime you use your wipers in inclement weather.
More information on safe winter travel and PennDOT’s winter operations is available on the agency’s website www.dot.state.pa.us/winter