TMA Bucks is reminding motorists that this is the time of year for winter weather conditions that can affect us on the road and that preparation is the main key to successfully navigating winter roads throughout Bucks County.
Winter weather can quickly bring unexpected conditions so make sure that both you and your vehicle are ready for ice and snow. It is important to always limit your distractions when driving but especially during adverse weather.
“Please remember that if winter weather is forecast that you should aim to eliminate all unnecessary travel if possible,” explains TMA Bucks executive director Steve Noll. “This will allow PennDOT and municipal public works departments to more easily perform their winter duties and keep you and your family safe. However, if you have to travel, there are several tips you should know for safe driving during the winter season.”
- Remove ice and snow from windows, mirrors and all vehicle lights before you drive and as often as needed.
- Remove snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle. State law states that if snow or ice from your vehicle strikes a vehicle or person and causes death or injury, you can be ticketed.
- Slow down and increase following distance.
- Avoid sudden stops and starts.
- Beware of roads that may look wet, but are actually frozen, often referred to as “black ice.”
- Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, where ice can often form without warning.
- Do not use cruise control while driving on snow-covered roads.
- State law requires you to turn on your headlights when your wipers are on.
- Use your low beams in particularly bad weather, especially in cases of heavy or blowing snow.
- Do not pass or get between trucks plowing in a plow line (several trucks plowing side by side).
TMA Bucks also wants to remind everyone that new this winter, the public can view a color-coded map of when each of the nearly 40,000 miles of state-maintained roadway was last plowed by visiting the www.511PA.com plow trucks section. The information is the latest enhancement made possible by PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which uses units in each of the more than 2,200 department-owned and rented plow trucks to send a cellular signal showing truck locations.
“It is important to remember that Bucks County has many rural, two-lane highways so have patience and allow PennDOT time to reach these roads,” added Noll. “It is also worth noting that not all highways in Bucks County are state highways. Some are municipally-owned and are treated and plowed by the borough or township. If you’re concerned about a road, contact your township or borough first.”
Also note that several Bucks County municipalities have snow emergency policies. Be aware of your township/borough’s policy and comply to help keep the roads clear and safe.