Snow Season is Underway: Safety Tips to Help Keep Drivers Safe
Say it ain't snow! Sadly, with the winter season in full swing in central Pennsylvania snow is definitely in the picture. On average, Centre County gets 57 inches of snow each year. When it comes to getting around that's generally bad news unless you're a skier.
Winter weather means winter driving conditions, including sleet, snow and ice. And that's why PennDot is asking drivers to get ready to cope with slippery streets.
Last winter, PennDot says there were 427 crashes on slippery roadways because of aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes. PennDot says those wrecks caused two fatalities and 130 injuries.
That's why PennDot recommends you take the following precautions when roads are slippery:
- Take your foot off the gas and slow down
- Increase following distances, putting more space between your car and the car ahead of you
- Avoid distractions and pay attention
Even if you are a very safe driver you never know when you might get into trouble. That's why you should always carry an emergency kit, just in case. Here are some things you should always keep in your car:
- Non-perishable food and water
- First-aid supplies
- Warm clothes
- Cell phone charger
- Small snow shovel
You might also want to carry extra baby supplies, medication, pet food and children's games.
Speaking of supplies, PennDot has stockpiled about 550,000 tons of salt and it will be needed if last winter is any indication. In 2012, PennDOT says it used more than 901,574 tons of salt on state-owned roads -- that includes 18,588 tons for roads just in Centre County.
The transportation agency has 5,400 operators and more than 2,250 trucks ready to roll.
You can check conditions on thousands of miles of state roads by visiting www.511PA.com. The service, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 650 traffic cameras. Access to 511PA is also available by calling 5-1-1.
Click HERE for more information for additional winter-driving resources from PennDot.