Winter is here, and taking a few simple steps can help you avoid becoming stranded on Pennsylvania’s roadways or, worse, being involved in an accident.  The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C. in Reading, PA want to share these winter driving tips with you.

Always wear your seat belt, drive at a reduced speed, and always drive defensively.

Always turn on your headlights during inclement weather. State law requires drivers to turn on their headlights when wipers are on.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going during the winter.

Keep your gas tank full.

Maintain at least twice the normal following distance when driving on snow or ice.

Rear-end collisions account for most winter crashes.

Keep your vehicle in proper working condition. Make sure the engine is tuned and the battery, belts, hoses and radiator are checked. Examine your tires to make sure they have adequate tread. Also, remember to keep your tires properly inflated.

Periodically check the level of your windshield washing fluid and only use fluids containing an anti-freeze solvent. Keep an extra container of windshield fluid in the trunk.

Remove snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle. State law states that if snow or ice from your vehicle strikes another vehicle or person and causes death or injury, you will face a severe fine.

Remove snow and ice from your windows, mirrors, hood, headlights, taillights, and trunk before driving.

Keep in your vehicle during the winter: an ice scraper/snow brush, de-icer, small snow shovel, warning devices (flares or triangles), bag of salt or sand, flashlight, battery cables, tire chains, paper towels, and a blanket.

Maintain a distance of at least six car lengths behind a snow plow.

Do not pass a snow plow because the plow blades are wider than the truck.

Car pool or use mass transit whenever possible during the winter. Fewer cars on the road make travel safer during a snowstorm and expedite snow plowing operations.

Use extra care when driving on a bridge or elevated ramp during the winter because they freeze before roads do.

Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol and icy roads can be a deadly combination.

(Source: PennDOT 2009-2010 Winter Maintenance Guide).

If you are involved in an accident in which you, or a family member, are injured by the negligence or carelessness of another person, you should talk to a lawyer about your rights.  The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C. have been helping injured people in Reading, Pottsville and throughout Pennsylvania obtain fair compensation for their injuries caused by auto accidents for over 50 years.

By Andrew F. Fick, Esquire

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