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Driving tips for Pennsylvania winters

December means holidays, family and fun-filled festivities. Unfortunately, it can also mean bad weather and slippery roads. That's why the National Safety Council has released some winter driving tips that can help Pennsylvania drivers reduce the risk of accidents and ensure a safe holiday season.

According to the NSC, one of the most important things a driver can do to improve roadway safety is to have their vehicle inspected by a mechanic before the next big storm arrives. The ignition, tires, brakes, headlights, windshield wipers, spark plugs and battery should all be checked to make sure they are in good condition. Safety experts also remind drivers to never mix radial tires with other types of tires. Furthermore, it's a very bad idea to leave a vehicle running in a garage or other enclosed space. This could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Once a vehicle is deemed roadworthy, it should be stocked with emergency supplies. The NSC suggests that these supplies include a properly inflated spare tire and tripod jack, a shovel, tow and tire chains, jumper cables, a bag of kitty litter or salt for traction, a toolset, a first-aid kit, a flashlight with spare batteries, flares, blankets and warm clothing and non-perishable food that provides high energy, such as canned nuts or dried fruit. If a driver becomes stranded in a storm, experts say that they should stay with the vehicle and tie a brightly colored material to the antenna to help rescue crews spot them.

Winter car accidents often cause catastrophic injuries that leave victims temporarily or permanently unable to work. In order to recover medical costs and lost wages, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash and/or the driver's insurance company. An attorney familiar with car crash claims could review a victim's case and help prepare the claim.

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