Snow, ice and poor visibility can all impact even a short trip. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that 21% of all motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. are weather-related.
Anticipate specific risks by educating yourself and preparing ahead of time.
Before embarking on your journey in challenging weather conditions, ensure that your vehicle’s windows and mirrors are entirely clear of ice and snow. Moreover, take the time to remove any accumulated snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof and hood to prevent loose debris from potentially becoming hazardous to other drivers on the road.
Additionally, it is advisable to regularly inspect and replace worn-out wiper blades and confirm that your defrosters are in optimal working condition. These precautionary measures can enhance safety and preserve clear visibility when driving in stormy weather
Have your battery’s voltage checked and inspect the charging system and belts. Regularly inspect and maintain the recommended tire pressure. Replace worn or inadequate tires. Check coolant levels, look for leaks and consider flushing the system if you have not done this recently.
Become familiar with how your vehicle handles in stormy conditions. Increase your following distance and use gentle braking on slick roads. Steer in the direction you want the forward end of the car to go during a skid. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s performance on snowy or icy surfaces in a safe, empty area during daylight.
Preparation and planning are key. Equip your car with essential items like a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, blankets and emergency supplies. Check the weather, road conditions and traffic before your trip. Leave early and share your route and ETA with someone.
Remember, a little preparation and caution go a long way in ensuring your safety and the safety of others on Maryland’s roads.