BLOG: Four Things You Need To Know About Driving On Icy Roads

By: Leslie S. Richards, Secretary of Transportation

January 27, 2016

In the aftermath of last weekend’s historic snowstorm, re-freezing on the roads contributed to dozens of crashes as the work week began.

PennDOT works hard to keep roads as safe as possible, and there are many factors that we consider in choosing what types of material we use on roadways during icy conditions. This infographic has some details on those factors so you know what to expect from us on roadways near you.


Of course, avoiding travel altogether when conditions are hazardous is the number one thing PennDOT recommends. But if that is not an option, here are four important things to remember:

  1. Avoid sudden starts and stops
  2. Beware of roads that may look wet, but are actually frozen (AKA “black ice”)
  3. Use extra caution on bridges and ramps where ice can form without warning
  4. Do not use cruise control

If you do become stranded, it’s better to stay with your vehicle until help arrives, but only run your engine every hour or so — making sure your tailpipe is clear and keeping a window cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

PennDOT reminds motorists that 511PA provides free, 24-hour traveler information services. Call 511 from your cellular phone or landline or visit traffic and travel conditions. We encourage you not to call 511PA while driving — just pull safely off the road or even better, call or log on before you leave. Please drive safely throughout this winter season, and always!


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