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PennDOT, AAA Reminding Motorists Of Winter Driving Laws, Safety Tips

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- This is the state's second annual Winter Driving Awareness Week, a perfect time to brush up on some of the driving laws you need to know.

First up, when winter weather strikes, make sure you clear all of the snow and ice from your vehicle.

"It does seem like such a simple thing, I know the last thing when you wake up in the morning and you need to get to work is to have to clear off your car, but it ultimately could save a life and keep you safer on the roadways," said Juliann Sheldon, of PennDOT District 11.

If you don't take the time to clear off your car, not only are you limiting your own visibility, you risk hurting someone else.

If snow or ice from your car hits another motorist or a pedestrian, you could end up paying in more ways than one. The fines for not clearing off your car range from $200 to $1,000 per violation.

Another driving law to keep in mind, especially this time of year, involves your wipers and headlights.

"If your windshield wipers are on in inclement weather, your headlights must also be on," says Sheldon. "I know it seems like a last minute thing that you might not need to think about when you're on the roadway, but it's helping you to be more visible to other motorists on the road as well."

In addition to knowing the laws of winter driving, it's also really important to be prepared. Make sure you have your vehicle stocked with supplies in the event of an emergency.

"A cell phone, a charger, water, blankets, cat litter for traction, and any kind of clothing or winter weather gear just in case you're trapped in your car for a long period of time," AAA spokesperson Chelsea Pompeani said.

Always remember, in bad weather give yourself extra travel time and leave lots of space between you, other vehicles, and plow trucks.

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