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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

PennDOT Offers Summer Driving Tips

July 18, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — During the current heat wave, PennDOT is reminding drivers to make sure their vehicles are working properly to ensure safe travel.

“Disabled vehicles often cause traffic backups in the summer, and these break downs are almost always preventable,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “If you have a mechanic check your vehicle now, chances are you won’t be one of the people stranded on the side of the road.”

To help avoid over-heating, a car’s cooling system, engine hoses, drive belts and battery should be inspected by a mechanic.

Motorists should regularly check fluid levels and tire tread depth. To quickly check the tire tread, insert a penny in the tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down — if you can see the entire head, your tires are worn and should be replaced. For maximum fuel efficiency, tires should be properly inflated. Hot weather can cause air pressure inside the tire to expand, causing a blowout if the tire is in poor condition.

Hot weather can also contribute to problems on road surfaces. According to PennDOT, extreme heat causes oils deposited from vehicles to be absorbed into the road. Rain forces these oils to the surface, creating slick spots. Motorists should use extra caution while driving during a rainstorm, particularly after an extended period without rain.

PennDOT recommends that motorists enhance their hot-weather preparedness with an emergency kit, similar to those used in the winter months. The kit should be stocked with things that would be needed in the event of a breakdown, such as water, necessary medications, first aid supplies and portable cooling devices, such as battery-powered fans.

For increased safety, motorists should heed state laws that help traffic move smoothly. The state’s “Steer Clear” law requires motorists to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle. Also, state law dictates that motorists must remain in the right lane on multi-lane highways, except to pass.

PennDOT also suggests the following tips for safe summer driving:

— Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, which can heat up quickly during hot weather.

— When traveling a long distance, try to plan your trip for early in the day or later in the evening when the weather is cooler.

   -- Carry a cell phone and charger in case of emergency.   -- Carry extra water and non-perishable food.  

— State law requires headlights to be turned on any time the wipers are in use due to rain, fog or other conditions.

   -- Remember to always buckle up and never drink and drive.     CONTACT:   Erin Waters   (717) 346-3357  

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

CONTACT: Erin Waters of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,+1-717-346-3357

Web Site: http://www.state.pa.us/