With hours to go until what some are saying might be the biggest winter storm to strike the northeastern states since 1978, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is urging drivers around the state to use extreme caution, and avoid going out at all if possible.

Although states on the coast are likely to bear the brunt of the storm, which might have hurricane strength winds, Pennsylvania is likely yo get a double dose of snowfall from a Lake Effect snowstorm coming from the West to the storm bearing down from the East. This will most likely result in a drastic amount of snowfall, possibly as much as two feet of snow or more in some areas, not counting what will pile up in drifts caused by the strong winds.

Drivers who do venture out in the weather, or think they can reach their final destination before the weather gets “too bed” should use extreme caution. An unexpected accident ahead of them could mean they will be stranded on the highway for hours as snow piles up around them. Drifting snow means that while the road where you are is relatively free from snow, the road a mile ahead of you may be buried in it.

And extremely cold weather can play havoc with electrical systems. That means a loose connection on your battery terminal could leave you without power when you try to start your car. Door locks can freeze, and so can windshield wipers or windshield wiper fluid.

The hazards of driving during a winter storm are far too many to be listed here. Suffice to say if you can avoid driving just before, during or immediately after the storm, it is a wise decision not to. If you do have to go out for an emergency make certain someone knows where you are going, what route you are taking and when to expect you. This way, if you are stranded by the storm, someone will know how to find you.