Driving during the winter poses additional risks

Winters in Pennsylvania can be treacherous, and they present dangers for those driving on the road. Everyone should review how to drive in ice and snow, but it is especially important for younger drivers or those who are new to the state. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 20% of all motor vehicle accidents occur during winter conditions. High levels of snow and ice buildup require drivers to pay special attention to driving and follow specific tips. 

Before one should even start the vehicle, it is a good idea to make sure everything is in working order. This includes checking the tires regularly, making sure the wipers are in good working order, ensuring a full charge on the battery and topping off coolant and wiper fluid. If the vehicle is outside, make sure to clean off all ice and snow from the windows, lights and sensors. The windows should also be clear of smudges and dirt. 

Once the vehicle is ready to go, the National Safety Council outlines some tips for driving. In winter conditions, it is always a good idea to drive slower than usual and to avoid cruise control. Icy roads can make it hard to stop and start, so slowly apply the breaks and gas pedals to prevent skidding. If If you do begin to skid, steer in the same direction.

Snow and ice significantly increase the number of crashes on the road. Do the best to avoid hitting someone else by keeping an 8 to 10 second distance in between vehicles. It can be extremely difficult to get started when facing a hill, so try to maintain momentum and avoid stopping. Finally, if conditions are severe, it is best to avoid driving at all or to pull over into a safe area until the weather passes.