Winter Driving Tips

car driving in winter road conditions

Pennsylvania winters can be harsh, and inclement winter weather can be daunting when you hit the road. Problematic weather conditions such as snow, sleet, hail and ice can reduce visibility, cause vehicles to slip and slide and affect your ability to reduce speed and stop in a timely manner. These winter driving tips can help you deal with the weather and keep you safe when you’re behind the wheel.

Prepare for winter weather. Before the cold weather hits, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Check to make sure antifreeze/coolant and windshield washer fluid are full, and if you’re due for an oil change, get one. Pay attention to tire pressure and ensure that windshield wipers, lights, turn signals and your spare tire & jack are all in good working order before you get on the road.

Gather roadside emergency supplies that include a first aid kit, warm blankets, a flashlight, jumper cables, a small tool kit, road flares and extra batteries. Keep your cell phone fully charged and stash an extra charger in your vehicle.

If you encounter extremely icy roads or need to dig your vehicle out, keeping a shovel and sand or cat litter in your car can be helpful during the winter. Fill your gas tank at least half full so you have enough gas to stay warm if you get stuck. If you do get stranded and want to keep your car running, it is vital to make sure the tail pipe isn’t blocked with snow. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Crack the windows to prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your vehicle.

Check the weather. Check weather and road conditions on weather sites, local news stations, and apps before you hit the road. You can also sign up for text or email alerts through local news stations. If the weather gets nasty and you don’t need to go out, stay safe by staying home.

Practice caution. Before you leave, completely clear all ice and snow off your car, including the roof, hood and trunk. Keep your headlights on while you’re driving, even during the day. For improved visibility, make sure to clear windows, side mirrors, and lights as needed.

Posted speed limits and other road signs are designed for clear roads and weather conditions. Stay alert and concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Inclement weather can make any road treacherous. Slow down and keep a substantial following distance between your vehicle and those in front of you. Overpasses and bridges are the first areas to become icy, so take extra care when driving on them.

Although these winter driving tips are designed to help you stay safe, accidents do happen. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, our experienced car accident lawyers in the Lehigh Valley can help. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.


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