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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, January 9, 2014:
Last Thursday - January 2 -- three to eight inches of snow fell on most of the south central Pennsylvania region. It was a light, fluffy snow that seems to be slipperier than usual when its on the roads, highways, or sidewalks.
Thursday also was first day back on the job after the holidays for many of us, meaning there were more cars on the roads.
However, what may have made last week's storm more hazardous than others of its size was the timing. Snow began falling and was heaviest in the late afternoon when most motorists were on their way home.
As a result, there were dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of accidents on slippery roads. Traffic was moving slowly even on the interstate highways, except for that occasional driver who thought they still could drive 65 miles per hour in the passing lane.
That night and the next day, we heard many stories about bad driving conditions and stunts pulled by other drivers.
It got us wondering here at Smart Talk about winter driving, including how to drive safely, and Penndot's strategies for snow removal and keeping the roads clear from snow and ice.
We'll address those topics on Thursday's program with Penndot District 8 executives Mike Keiser and Rich Roman and Trooper Adam Reed of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Take a look at Penndot's Winter Services Guide here.
Left to Right: Trooper Adam Reed, Mike Keiser, Rich Roman
Here's a release from Penndot on winter driving:
Winter Driving Awareness Week Encourages Safe Driving, Preparation
Harrisburg – Although Pennsylvania is heading for a January thaw, safe winter driving skills will be called on again soon, and as part of the state’s first Winter Driving Awareness Week, PennDOT is asking all drivers to be ready.
Winter Driving Awareness Week, Jan. 12-18, highlights the need for motorists to keep safety in mind throughout the winter season.
“During Winter Driving Awareness Week I’m asking all motorists to do their part to help increase safety for all drivers this winter season,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “Safety begins before drivers even leave home by ensuring that vehicles are properly equipped and mechanically ready to deal with winter driving challenges.”
"While we have this temporary respite from winter weather, motorists should have their vehicle serviced now by a mechanic they trust," Schoch added. "A properly trained mechanic can check the cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires and wiper blades to ensure they are in good condition and functioning properly."
Motorists should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be checked often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow.
Now is also a good time for motorists to prepare a vehicle emergency kit. The kit should contain items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Additionally, motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.
When winter weather does make a return appearance, PennDOT asks drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:
For more information on safe winter travel as well as PennDOT’s winter operations, visit www.dot.state.pa.us/winter.
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