Stay safe with this winter travel checklist

Written by Emily Previti, Keystone Crossroads Reporter | Jan 10, 2017 10:38 AM
Snow plow

{Harrisburg --} State officials are urging drivers to prepare their vehicles for winter storms to keep themselves and others safe.

Tips from PennDOT and  Governor Tom Wolf, shared as part of Winter Driving Awareness Week, running through Saturday:

Prep steps

  • Frequently check tire pressure and tread, as well as fluid levels, lights and wiper blades.
  • Get a mechanic to check the cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires and wiper blades to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Prepare or restock a vehicle emergency kit. Suggested contents: water, first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger, small snow shovel and items to meet additional specific needs (baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies, etc.).

When winter weather hits

  • Clear vehicles of ice and snow before traveling. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian, you could face a $1,000 fine.
  • If a vehicle's wipers are on due to inclement weather, its lights have to be on, too, under state law.
  • Keep your lights on around snow-removal equipment as well.
  • Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember the plow is wider than the truck.
  • Don't travel next to a plow truck due to blind spots and the risk of drifts or heavy snowpack pushing them sideways.
  • When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
  • •    Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a "plow train." The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can cause other vehicles to lose control.

How to stay connected

Check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting The site has weather forecasts and pulls from more than 770 traffic cameras to provide information on traffic speed and delays. 

The same information is available through the 511PA smartphone app, by calling 5-1-1 or via Twitter (#PAWinter or @PennDOTNews) and Facebook.


Published in Adams County, Carlisle, Cumberland County, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lancaster, Lebanon, News, Perry County, York

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