Our Community Traffic Safety Program is reminding commuters that this is the time of year to be ready for snow, ice and everything in between that can potentially impact your travel and that being prepared is the best way to successfully navigate winter roads throughout Bucks County.
Winter weather can quickly bring unexpected poor driving conditions so make sure that both you and your vehicle are ready for ice and snow. First and foremost, you should have a mechanic check the brakes, battery, hoses and belts on your vehicles. We also recommend packing some kind of winter emergency kit in your vehicle to help you in your preparations. This kit should include items such as a flashlight and batteries, jumper cables, ice scraper, small shovel, gloves, blanket and anything else you may need to accommodate family traveling with you.
“Common sense should always prevail if inclement weather is forecasted,” explains TMA Bucks Community Traffic Safety Program manager Carly Mannon. “If you have no reason to be out on snow or icy roads then you should eliminate all unnecessary travel. Stay home, telecommute for work if you can so PennDOT and municipal public works departments can more easily perform their winter duties for those that need to be out on the roads like our first responders. However, if you have to travel and be out, there are several tips you should know for safe driving during the winter months.”
- Remove all 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).
“In Bucks County it is extremely important to remember there are several rural, two-lane highways, so please be patient and allow PennDOT the necessary time to reach these roads,” added Mannon. “Not all highways in Bucks County are state highways and several are municipally-owned and are treated and plowed by the borough or township. It might take them a bit longer to get these roads cleared.”
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.