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Winter driving tips that could save your life

Even though the Philadelphia area has been lucky to experience a stretch of mild winter weather lately, have no doubt that accumulating snow and frigid temps will appear once again. That's why the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers of some important winter driving tips.

Last week marked PennDOT's first-annual Winter Driving Awareness Week, and PennDOT hopes that the initiative will result in fewer winter-related car accidents and highway troubles. If each driver does his or her part, PennDOT says, everyone will be safer on Pennsylvania roads.

First, PennDOT is advising drivers to have their car serviced by a knowledgeable mechanic. A mechanic can check to make sure that the vehicle is functioning properly and that all important parts are in good condition. PennDOT said drivers can do their part by routinely checking fluid levels, wiper blades and lights.

Next, PennDOT recommends that all drivers should put together a winter emergency kit to keep in their vehicles in case of an accident or breakdown. The kit should contain the following items: non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, blankets, a cell phone charger and a small shovel.

Finally, PennDOT has some tips for sharing the roads with snowplows this winter:

  • Avoid driving next to snowplows as there are blind stops where plow drivers can't see.
  • Always drive at least six car-lengths behind snowplows that are in operation.
  • Remember that plow blades stick out further than the plow trucks.
  • Always be on the lookout for plows on the roads.
  • Never attempt to pass a "train" of several plow trucks traveling in a row.
  • When a plow is approaching from the opposite direction, stay as far from the centerline as possible.

Keep these tips from PennDOT in mind for safe winter-driving in 2014!

Source: Patch.com, "Winter Driving Awareness Week Encourages Safe Driving," Jan. 12, 2014

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