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PennDOT: Time to Check Vehicles, Pack Emergency Kit

December 15, 2010

HARRISBURG, PA - With temperatures and wind chills hovering in the teens or lower in Pennsylvania, PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler this week urged motorists to be sure that vehicles are properly serviced and contain a well-stocked emergency kit. 

"One of the biggest risks that a driver can take is to venture out during the winter months without ensuring that their vehicle is properly prepared for the rigors of winter driving," Biehler said. "It takes less than 10 minutes to do a quick 'winter-ready' inspection of a vehicle and pack an emergency kit -- two simple steps that will help keep drivers safe this winter." 

To perform a "winter-ready" inspection on a vehicle, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recommends the following:

  • Check that fluid levels are full
  • Make sure wipers do not streak; consider installing winter wiper blades
  • Ensure that the heater and defroster work properly
  • Make sure the vehicle's radio is working properly so the driver can receive weather and traffic reports
  • Make sure all lights are working
  • Check to be sure all tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth. A quick way to check tread depth is to insert a penny in the tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down. If you can see the entire head, your tires will not provide safe traction in ice, rain and snow.
  • If the vehicle is driven in an area prone to heavy snow, consider using dedicated snow tires on the vehicle or carry a set of tire chains. At a minimum, all-weather tires should be mud and snow rated.
  • Look for evidence of fluid leaks. If found, contact a mechanic immediately. 

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