Winter is upon us.  We have already been hit with a winter storm consisting of snow, sleet and rain.  As we head into the heart of Winter, we have shorter days and colder weather.  The change over to winter brings with it an assortment of weather conditions and very real safety concerns related to driving in winter weather conditions on the streets, roads, and highways in and around Berks County and Schuylkill County, as well as the nearby counties of Lancaster, Lebanon and Montgomery.  Winter weather varies throughout the country, as do driving conditions.  Although the hazards you encounter may be different from state-to-state, car and truck drivers in cold weather states need to be prepared before they get on the road, and they need to be vigilant while they are driving.  You should be especially mindful that stopping distances can be drastically increased on wet, icy and snowy roads.  If possible, you should avoid driving in bad weather.  Preparation is the key to winter weather driving, especially since it can bring with it unexpected conditions.

To further support the communities we serve, the personal injury lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., want to help by sharing vital safety tips for Winter Driving from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).  The following list of recommendations is provided by PennDOT to help keep you and your family safe as Winter goes into full swing.

  • Carry a winter emergency travel kit.
  • Listen to weather and travel advisories, but if you don’t have to travel in bad weather, don’t.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • 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.
  • Carry a cellphone.
  • 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.
  • Remove 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.
  • Do not park or abandon your vehicle on snow emergency routes.
  • Do not pass or get between trucks plowing in a plow line (several trucks plowing side by side).
  • Make sure someone else knows where you are going and when you expect to arrive. In case you run into an emergency and need help, someone will know where to look for you.
  • If you do become stranded, it’s better to stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine every hour or so, but make sure the tailpipe is clear and keep the downwind window cracked open.
  • Do not drink and drive, and always wear your seat belt.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety and well-being of the motoring public throughout the area and the state of Pennsylvania, and serve auto, motorcycle, and tractor-trailer accident victims and their families in Reading, PA, Pottsville, PA, and throughout Central and Eastern, Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.  Our experienced legal team handles injury claims, including claims for serious injury and death caused by the negligence of other motor vehicle operators.  The firm also handles medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and workers’ compensation cases.

From the desk of Adam K. Levin

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