Winters in Pennsylvania mean rain, freezing rain and snow will create slippery and hazardous road conditions. Although traction control and anti-lock brakes on modern vehicles aid drivers, winter conditions still demand that drivers exercise extra levels of caution and be ready for emergencies. Cautious drivers in well-maintained vehicles have a greater ability to deal safely with wintry conditions and avoid causing serious accidents.

Drivers need to reduce their speeds on wet or icy roads. Slower acceleration and slower deceleration grant drivers greater control of their vehicles. They should also increase their following distances to 8 or 10 seconds to give them more time to react to changes in traffic or road conditions. Even if precipitation is light or subsiding, icy patches could still catch drivers by surprise. When heavy snowfall or high winds create white-out conditions, drivers need to pull off the road and wait until visibility returns.

If an accident or bad weather forces drivers off the road, they can prepare for this emergency by stocking their vehicles with road flares, first aid kit, blankets, extra winter clothes, shovel and flashlight. Stranded motorists who need to wait for assistance should light flares around their vehicles and make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe.

Reckless or inexperienced drivers who fail to drive safely could cause car accidents and be held financially responsible by victims. A person hurt in a crash will likely face high medical expenses and probably miss work. Because coping with serious injuries could limit someone’s ability to prepare paperwork and file an insurance claim, a person could outsource the personal injury claim process to an attorney. An attorney might recover a settlement after tracking down the police accident report and identifying the parties responsible for paying damages.