Adverse weather conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths each winter, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Pennsylvania drivers should be careful on the roads this season, especially when travel conditions are hazardous.
Winter Weather Alerts: What Do They Mean?
Winter weather alerts can be confusing; many of them sound similar but have different meanings. According to the National Weather Service, common winter weather warnings and alerts include:
- Winter Storm Watch: There is potential for significant and hazardous weather within 48 hours.
- Winter Storm Warning: A significant combination of hazardous weather is occurring or imminent.
- Blizzard Warning: There is a combination of snow that is reducing or expected to reduce visibility to one-quarter of a mile or less for three hours or longer, and sustained winds or gusts of at least 35 miles per hour.
- Winter Weather Advisory: Issued for any amount of freezing rain or when two to four inches of snow is expected to cause inconvenience, but not significant enough to warrant issuing a Winter Storm Warning.
Tips for Driving in the Winter
When a Winter Storm Watch alert has been issued, drivers should attempt to adjust their travel plans in light of the imminent adverse weather. During a Winter Weather Advisory, travel conditions will be hazardous, therefore those who plan on driving should use caution and leave extra time to get to their destination. Once a Winter Storm or Blizzard Warning has been issued, drivers should stay at home, if possible, due to the heavy snow and low visibility.
The 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that the periods with the most snowfall in southeastern Pennsylvania will be mid to late January and early February. Snowy and icy roads are often a contributing factor to winter driving accidents, as are vehicle malfunctions. It is important to follow the following winter driving tips:
- Drive slowly
- Leave more distance
- Ensure that your brakes are working
- Start increasing your speed before you head up snowy or icy hills
- Pack extra clothing, food, water, and an emergency kit
- Plan your route ahead of time
Prepare Your Vehicle for the Cold Weather
Before heading out this winter, drivers should make sure their cars are properly serviced. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides the following guidance:
- Check for leaks, worn hoses, and broken parts
- Clean snow, ice, and dirt from the windows and sensors
- Do not text and drive or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Ensure your lights are working
- Fill your gas tank
- Install winter tires/replace tires with uneven wear or insufficient tread
- Make sure your vehicle is not under recall
- Practice driving in the snow
- Take care not to drain the battery
- Test the cooling system
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims of Winter Driving Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, contact the Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC right away. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-888-1221. We will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown.