Turnpike Safety

winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips

Emergency Vehicle Kit. Ice scraper, de-icer, small snow shovel, warning devices (flare/triangles), bag of salt or sand, flashlight, battery cables, tire chains, paper towels, blanket, non-perishable food


Don't drive unless it's absolutely necessary

Long-distance trips are especially risky in a snowstorm; question whether the trip is really crucial. The Turnpike will sometimes restrict travel to emergency vehicles - if necessary.


Recognize that travel takes longer in bad weather

If you choose to travel, know it could take significantly longer to get there. Plan ahead, and build in extra travel time. Be prepared with an emergency vehicle kit just in case.


Thoroughly remove snow & ice from your vehicle

All windows and mirrors should be completely clear to improve visibility; but don't forget to clear the hood, roof and trunk. State law states that if snow or ice from your vehicle strikes a vehicle or person and causes death or injury, you can be prosecuted.


Turn on your headlights during a storm

You need to see well to drive safely.

STATE LAW states if your wipers are on, your headlights should be too. It lets you see and be seen during a snowstorm. Remember, low beams often make it easier to see in heavy or blowing snow.


Slow down and don't tailgate

Drive at a speed suitable for conditions and avoid sudden starts and stops. During a storm, the posted speed limit is usually too fast. It's the driver's responsibility to slow down to a safe speed. It's also your responsibility not to hit the vehicle in front of you, so allow plenty of stopping distance between vehicles.


Never pass an active snow plow

The equipment operator cannot see you; and your visibility is limited because of snow spray from the plow. Besides, the roadway is untreated and slick in front of the truck, so what's the point? It never pays to pass a plow.


Be prepared for fast-changing conditions

Conditions often vary widely during a snowstorm; dry pavement can quickly change to slick or icy pavement because of drifting snow, temperature drops and plow cycles. The opening hours and closing volley of a storm tend to bring the most severe fluctuations. Use extra caution on bridges and ramps where ice can often form without warning.


Watch for reduced speed limits and trailer bans

If conditions warrant, the speed limit on the PA Turnpike will be lowered to 45 mph during a storm. In addition, the Turnpike will impose bans on empty and double trailers and other types of commercial and passenger vehicles.


Never leave a vehicle unattended

Our equipment operators cannot adequately clear the road with disabled vehicles blocking the way, so all abandoned vehicles are immediately towed during a weather emergency. If you do breakdown during a snowstorm, be sure your vehicle is as far from active travel lanes as possible.


Ignore distractions and remember seatbelts

Focusing on driving and buckling up are two of the best ways to ensure everyone's safety. When the weather is bad, they're doubly critical. Put the smartphone down and the seatbelt on.

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