As a state in the northeastern part of the United States, Pennsylvania has a mix of all the seasons as well as rural and urban roads. When planning to drive through the commonwealth for the first time, there are some things you should consider so you know what to expect along your way. If you come from a place like the south, or an area where you’re not used to switching between rural and urban roads, then you could use some tips of how to drive in our state.
If you get into a car accident while driving through Pennsylvania, you could use the help of a local car accident lawyer from Shrager & Sachs, LLC. Our experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys are well-versed in state and local law and know how to build a strong claim for you after an accident that wasn’t your fault. You shouldn’t have to handle this alone—that’s where we can help.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike
Some drivers view the Pennsylvania Turnpike as a challenging part of navigating our state. Like any other toll road, you should be prepared to pay when you are exiting the Turnpike, but not if you are stopping at a rest station along the way. Although the Turnpike is all highway, it still stretches through very rural areas, meaning that the threat of animal crossings is just as present as it would be on a back road through the state. Here are some difficult aspects to the Turnpike that you should consider before taking it on your trip through PA:
- Animal crossings. As mentioned above, the Turnpike shoots through some of the most rural parts of Pennsylvania. Our state has a lot of wildlife because there are so many rural parts of the state, so you need to be on the lookout for animals like deer, skunks, opossum, and foxes that might venture into the road.
- Tunnels. The western part of the Turnpike has a few tunnels that can be intimidating for drivers who have never driven through tunnels before. It’s important to remain calm, turn your headlights on, stay in your lane, and adjust your speed accordingly.
- Poor weather. Since Pennsylvania is in the northeastern part of the country, we get the full range of weather conditions. If you’re driving in the winter, it’s important to check the weather forecast first so that you know if there will be snow or ice on the road. We also get heavy rains, and in the fall there is frequently fog and wet leaves on the road so staying informed on the weather is helpful.
- Construction. Like any other state, construction can affect your travel plans in Pennsylvania. Even though it’s unlikely that it will shut down the Turnpike, make sure you check in on any construction that might be happening that could slow your travel and complicate your trip.
Sharing the Road with the Amish
Depending on where you are in the state, you might encounter Amish or Mennonite horse and buggies driving on the shoulder of the road. If you get stuck behind a buggy or bicyclist on the highway or a backroad, it’s important to remain patient. Only pass the buggy if you have enough room in the other lane, can do so at a safe speed, and never honk. Your car horn could spook the horse and cause an accident.
Pennsylvania Laws You Should Know
Although most states have similar rules of the road, it’s important to know the basics of what’s expected while driving in each state that you visit. The two key laws to know in Pennsylvania are our texting and driving law and our Steer Clear law. According to Pennsylvania law, drivers are prohibited from using a handheld communication device to read, write, or send text communication while the vehicle is in motion. Drivers are still permitted to make, receive, and end phone calls, though.
Another important law to know is the Steer Clear law. When there is an incident on the side of the road, like a truck accident or a driver pulled over by a State Trooper, Pennsylvania motorists are required to move at least one lane away from the incident, putting at least one lane in between the incident and traffic. If you’re unable to move over, you are required to slow down.
Shrager & Sachs, Attorneys at Law Can Help You With Your Claim
No matter how cautious you are while driving through Pennsylvania for the first time, it’s still possible that another driver will be negligent or reckless and cause a collision that inflicts damage on your body, property, or both. At Shrager & Sachs in Philadelphia, our car accident lawyer is here for you so you can hold that driver responsible for their actions and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today so we can discuss your potential claim and get started right away.