As a Pennsylvania resident, you have grown accustomed to hail, wind and several feet of snow. This weather is not only unpleasant, but dangerous. And with our state expecting a major snowstorm over the next few days, driving conditions could be perilous.

To help you stay safe on the roads during the storm, we have compiled a few winter-driving safety tips that you can put to use.

Staying safe on winter roads

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a state of emergency regarding the upcoming snowstorm. If you plan to travel this weekend, you will need to use caution. Heed these important safety tips:

  • Reduce your speed

Snow and freezing rain can make roadways slippery; driving too fast can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Slow down, and you could avoid an accident. Keep in mind that speed limits will be restricted to 45 mph on our interstates and highways.

  • Increase your following distance

Braking is harder on slick roads. To reduce the likelihood of rear-ending the car ahead of you, increase your following distance. This will give you much-needed time to react and stop.

  • Beware of black ice

Black ice can be invisible from your car. When driving, you must remain vigilant to any black ice that may have formed on the road. If you skid on black ice, try to stay calm; regain control of your car by steering gently and turning the steering wheel in the direction of the skid.

  • Don’t use your brights

If the weather impedes visibility on the road, don’t use your high beams to see better. Instead, use your low lights. High beams can reflect off snow and ice particles, making visibility even worse.

What to do in an accident

Unfortunately, even the most cautious driver can experience an accident. If you experience a motor vehicle accident, be sure to:

  • Seek medical treatment immediately
  • Obtain the name, phone number and insurance info of the other party
  • Take pictures of the scene
  • Get to a safe area
  • Stay warm—if necessary, go indoors to avoid frostbite or hypothermia