OIL CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – State officials in Pennsylvania are cautioning drivers to be prepared for wintry conditions on the state’s highways this weekend.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said the possibility of sleet and freezing rain is in the forecast for Interstate 80, 79 and 90 in the northwestern portion of the state.
Due to winter weather, PennDOT temporarily reduced speed limits in Mercer County, but now those restrictions have been restored.
Interstate 90 eastbound remains closed at Exit 45 (Route 20, North East) to the New York line as clean up continues following a multi-vehicle crash earlier Saturday.
Although PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable.
Roadways will not be completely free of ice and snow while a winter storm event is happening.
PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.
The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks.
Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.
Keep in mind that roads that look wet may actually be icy, and ice can form without warning on bridges and ramps.
Officials with PennDOT District 1, which covers Mercer County, said they are prepared for the weather with salt, anti-skid and other materials that are in good supply right now.
Crews will be working around the clock to clear the roads.
Drivers can help by leaving plenty of space — six car lengths — when following a truck that is plowing or spreading material.
For drivers who are traveling during times of snow or sleet, PennDOT offers this advice:
- Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
- Turn on your headlights.
- Stay in your lane.
- Increase your following distance.
- Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
- Reduce in-car distractions since your full attention is required.
- Use defroster and wipers.
- Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
- During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible or when there is a safe area to do so.
- Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could create a chain-reaction collision.
- Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
- Give ample room for plow truck drivers to treat the roadways and never pass between two trucks operating in a plow line.
- Always wear a seat belt and never drink impaired by drugs or alcohol.