|ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING?|
Indiana, PA (November 1) - PennDOT's District 10 forces are prepared to deal with the snowfall when it occurs, but motorists can help themselves by being prepared as well.
PennDOT urges motorists to be aware of winter safety hazards that may pose a potential risk. Take the time to prepare your vehicle for winter with a safety first attitude and follow these simple safety tips:
• Make sure your vehicle's battery is strong enough for winter starts. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery is 35 percent weaker. Have your battery tested before the temperature falls to ensure safe starts this winter.
• Make sure your vehicle is equipped with tires adequate for winter driving.
• Know your vehicle. Some features about a particular vehicle may determine how it should be operated in winter months. For example, drivers with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) should not pump the brake when stopping a vehicle. The brake system’s computer will automatically pump the brakes. If driving a vehicle without an anti-lock system, gently apply pumping pressure to avoid wheel lock up.
• The American Red Cross also recommends packing an emergency kit that includes battery jumper cables, a shovel, sleeping bags or blankets, a non-perishable food supply, flashlight and transistor radio, first aid kit, tool kit, extra clothing, windshield scraper and a bag of sand.
• Check windshield wipers, washer fluid and defrosters.
• Check antifreeze.
• Don't start a vehicle inside a closed garage. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up from exhaust.
• Clear all frost, snow and ice from your vehicle's windshield, lights and mirrors for maximum visibility.
• Watch out for black ice! At temperatures just above freezing or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a thin layer of ice can cover the roadway causing extremely slippery conditions. You may notice ice begin to form on your windshield and mirrors. The wet mist from other cars will begin to disappear, and the road sound becomes very quiet. Stopping distances can become doubled on ice, so allow a safety cushion between cars.
• Watch for freeze back! During daylight hours, warmer temperatures may begin to melt the snow that has accumulated along roadway shoulders. As the snow melts, water seeps across the roadway surface and may freeze as temperatures drop during evening and early morning hours.
• Watch for bridges, which can freeze before road surfaces and areas that are shaded.
For more safety information visit the District 10's website at www.dot.state.pa.us or to report a highway concern call 1-800-FIX-ROAD.