With a winter storm predicted to impact a large part of Pennsylvania, PennDOT is urging motorists to use extra caution and if possible, delay traveling until after the storm has passed.
Though PennDOT crews will aggressively treat roadways throughout the storm, motorists should expect that roadways will not be completely free from snow and ice, particularly with some forecasts calling for snowfall rates of 1 inch or greater per hour at times. PennDOT recommends suspending unnecessary travel until after the storm has passed.
As with all storms, PennDOT will focus on clearing interstates and expressways first which could lead to plow trucks being redirected to these routes if conditions warrant. Drivers are cautioned that redirecting equipment could lead to deeper accumulations of snow on less-traveled routes.
If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Drivers also need to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment.
PennDOT recommends that motorists carry an emergency kit including items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Additionally, motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have. Travelers should consider adding such items as baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies, or even children’s games.
Motorists can check road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of state roads by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 650 traffic cameras. 511PA also provides easy-to-use, color-coded winter road conditions for all interstates and other routes covered in the 511 reporting network. Access to 511PA is also available by calling 5-1-1.
For more information on PennDOT’s winter operations, visit www.dot.state.pa.us/winter.