Drivers Urged to Use Caution During Winter Weather

driving-1461864_1280JEFFERSON CO., Pa. – Winter weather and the potential for heavy snow squalls are in the forecast for areas of District 10’s five counties (Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson) over the next few days.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recommends motorists avoid traveling during winter storms but if you must be out, please use caution while driving.

Sudden and heavy snow squalls are one of the biggest challenges that motorists, including plow truck drivers face during winter. Drivers need to be alert for sudden squalls that can quickly cause roads to become snow covered. Heavy squalls can also cause whiteout conditions that can greatly reduce or eliminate a driver’s visibility.

If motorists encounter snow squalls while traveling, PennDOT offers this advice:

– Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits conditions.
– Turn on your headlights, stay in your lane and increase your following distance.
– Reduce in-car distractions and focus your full attention on driving.
– Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice and use the defroster and wipers.
– During whiteouts, do not stop in the roadway. Come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible or when there is a safe area to do so.
– Always buckle up and never drive impaired.

PennDOT is ready for the expected storm, with plow trucks and other equipment prepared for service and salt, anti-skid and other materials in good supply. Crews will work around the clock if necessary to keep roads safe and passable.

Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. Roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps. Motorists should leave plenty of space – six car lengths – when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.

For more information on winter driving and PennDOT operations, visit www.penndot.gov/winter.


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