DUNMORE -- With the temperatures dipping, and snow squalls popping up, driving conditions can become treacherous this time of year. This winter, the National Weather Service will send out snow squall warnings for the first time. PennDOT expects the warnings to be helpful.
"What this will allow us to do is--especially if we know it's only going to be a snow squall like they're looking at over the next few days--we can begin to pinpoint our resources and get specific people out at specific locations," PennDOT spokesperson James May said.
A snow squall features heavy snow and strong winds during a short period of time. Driving in those conditions is unsettling for people who have experienced it.
"It was a little frightening," Jenelle Ostrowski of Scranton said. "You can't see anything in front of you, two or three feet, if that. It's scary."
PennDOT says that if you are driving during a snow squall, do not stop because that could lead to a pileup. If you do need to come to a halt, pull off on the side of the ride as far as you can.
"Many times, they'll just stop right there in the interstate because they can't see and as a result, the cars behind them end up creating a pileup condition and that's when we see some of the fatalities and injuries along the interstate," May added.
In addition to the weather service alerts, PennDOT has also partnered with the app Waze. The free navigation software provides live traffic updates. PennDOT says all of this technology helps drivers, especially during bad weather.
"Whether it's a construction zone, weather event, slow or backed up traffic, an accident or unforeseen things that the driver can't see that are miles ahead," Joe Antosh, PennDOT IT Coordinator said. "It helps them through intelligent transportation to make plans to adjust their route and get safely to their destination as quickly as possible."