Tips for Safe Winter Driving
December 31st, 2016
| Donald C. Ligorio
Winter weather is upon us, and one of things we can count on in Northeastern Pennsylvania are some frightful road conditions. Every year, 116,800 people are injured and more than 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy or icy roads. Twenty-four percent of weather-related crashes occur on snow, slush or ice, and 15 percent happen during snow or sleet storms. Here are some basic precautions that can help you avoid injury or property damage due to winter road conditions.
Winterizing your vehicle is critical. Be sure to check your tires, tire pressure, battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, transmission fluid, lights, brakes, exhaust system, defroster, wipers and ignition system. Snow, ice, and slush reduce friction on the roadway and make it more difficult to stop and control your vehicle. Tires are especially important because they help maintain traction by remaining in contact with the roadway in wet and slippery conditions. Pennsylvania law requires tire treads to be at least 2/32” in depth. Cold weather also affects tire pressure. Each time the outside temperature drops 10 degrees, the air pressure in your tires will go down one or two pounds per square inch (PSI). Underinflated tires make steering more difficult in slippery conditions.
It’s also important to pay close attention to road conditions while driving. Water is likely to freeze more quickly in shady areas or on bridges. So-called “black ice” commonly forms in these areas. Pennsylvania law requires drivers to adjust their speed to driving conditions affected by weather and to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles
Visibility is also a major factor in winter weather-related accidents. Pennsylvania law requires all drivers to fully clean all windows and mirrors prior to operating a vehicle. Take the extra time to make sure you have good visibility and that your windshield wipers are in good condition and working properly. Snow and ice falling from the tops of vehicles can also cause accidents. Drivers may be subject to significant fines for failing to clear snow and ice from the tops of their vehicles if it falls into the roadway and distracts other drivers
Finally, be prepared for accidents and car trouble. Keep blankets, extra warm clothes, a first aid kit and flares in your car. If you are going on a longer trip, take water and food in the event that you get stranded on the road due to a storm or accident.
With the proper preparation, care and precaution, you and your family can stay safe on the roads this winter.
About HKQ Law
HKQ Law is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Nine attorneys at HKQ Law were recently named to the 2019 Best Lawyers List and has been designated a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for personal injury, medical malpractice litigation labor law and corporate law in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history on behalf of injured clients. The firm was also recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.
The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).
Attorney Joseph A. Quinn is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.
Additional information can be found at www.HKQLaw.com or by calling (800) 760-1529.