EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As a winter storm is forecasted to hit the area Monday night into Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is advising drivers in north-central Pennsylvania to watch out for changing weather patterns.

PennDOT says it is prepared and ready to go with large amounts of salt and anti-skid allowing crews to treat the roads during the storm and until they’re clear.

Weather forecasts are calling for freezing rain, sleet, and snow which could cause icy conditions, especially on road surfaces, bridges, and overpasses, officials say.

PennDOT says crews will be treating roadways, but their goal is to keep roads driveable, not completely free of ice and snow. Crews will continue to treat the roads during the storm until the wintry weather stops and the roads are clear. 

PennDOT recommends not traveling during the storm. But, for those who need to drive, the department reminds those behind the wheel to “Know Before You Go,” by checking up-to-date road conditions on 511PA.

Although PennDOT recommends not driving during winter storms, they also provide the following advice for those who have to drive in the winter weather:

  • Carry a winter emergency travel kit. (including layers of clothing and blankets).
  • Listen to weather and travel advisories, don’t travel in the bad weather if you don’t have to.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Slow down and increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars.
  • Avoid sudden stops and starts.
  • Beware of roads that may look wet, but are actually frozen, often referred to as ‘black ice.’
  • Use caution on bridges and ramps, where ice can form without warning.
  • Always carry a cell phone.
  • Do not use cruise control while driving on snow-covered roads.
  • State law requires you to turn on your headlights when your wipers are on.
  • Use your low beams in bad weather, especially in cases of heavy or blowing snow.
  • Remove ice and snow from windows, mirrors, and all vehicle lights before you drive as well as the hood and roof of your vehicle. As state law says if snow or ice from your vehicle hits another car or person and causes death or injury, you can be ticketed.
  • Do not park or abandon your vehicle on snow emergency routes.
  • Do not pass or get in between trucks in a plow line (several trucks plowing side by side).
  • Make sure someone else knows where you are going and when you expect to arrive in case you run into an emergency and need help, someone will know where to look for you.
  • If you do get stranded, stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine every hour or so, but make sure the tailpipe is clear and keep the downwind window cracked open.
  • Do not drink and drive, and always wear your seat belt.

PennDOT wishes to also remind drivers to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include phone chargers, non-perishable food, water, a blanket, a small shovel, and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, drivers should take into account the special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies, or medications, and pack accordingly.