2011-10-13 / Local & State

PennDOT Reminds Motorists To Be Alert To Fall Driving Hazards

PennDOT reminds motorists to drive with extra caution this fall and be on the lookout for seasonal travel hazards such as wet leaves, frosty mornings and increased sun glare.

In addition to creating slippery conditions, wet leaves can often cover traffic lines and other pavement markings. Motorists should slow down, particularly in residential areas as well as on narrow or winding roads.

Frost can also lead to slippery conditions, especially on bridges and overpasses that freeze more quickly than roadways. Motorists also need to be alert of shaded areas that could be frozen. In addition to driving with extra care, motorists need to be absolutely certain that their vehicles’ windows are clear of frost before driving.

Pennsylvania law states that no person shall drive a vehicle with ice or snow on the front, rear or side windows if it obstructs or impairs the driver’s view of the road. Also, if snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious injury, the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice came is subject to a fine of $200 to $1,000 for each offense.

Intense sun glare can af- fect drivers’ vision during morning and afternoon rush hours. Motorists should keep their windshield clean, both inside and out to help reduce glare. Drivers should also be certain that the vehicle’s sun visor is free of clutter and be certain to keep a pair of good sunglasses within easy reach.

PennDOT also offers motorists these additional tips for fall driving:

When driving in severe weather or in areas with wet leaves, increase your following distance. If you are being tailgated, let the other driver pass.

With twilight approaching earlier in the evenings, make sure that your vehicle’s headlights, taillights and turn signals are all working properly. Turn your headlights on as soon as the light begins to fade.

Be sure that your vehicle’s heating system and wipers are functioning properly and remember that under Pennsylvania law, if your wipers are on, your headlights must be on, too.

Be sure that your tires have sufficient tread depth to deal with the potential for early-season snows.

Drivers are also reminded that they are required to “Steer Clear” any time an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing and where road crews or emergency personnel have lighted flares or posted signs. Pennsylvania law states that motorists must move to a lane not adjacent to the scene of an emergency response, police stop or a tow truck picking up an abandoned vehicle. If drivers cannot move over because of traffic or other conditions, they must reduce their speed.

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