Winter driving tips from the State Highway Administration

Winter Weather Driving Risks in Maryland

Maryland's State Highway Administration understands that winter weather brings greater risks on the state's roads and highways. Conditions can be very harsh, storms can strike unexpectedly, and not everyone has much experience driving in the snow.

These tips can help keep you safe driving in winter.

1. Give yourself extra time. A lot of accidents happen when people drive too fast for conditions, perhaps rushing to get to work on time. Plan to leave 20 minutes early and drive slowly.

2. Remember to clear snow from your lights. People often just clear the windows and drive away. While you may be able to see, if your lights are covered, it can be harder for other drivers to see you - especially if it's dusk or dawn and your car is partially covered in snow, blending into the landscape.

3. Don't lock your brakes if you do slide on ice, especially with older cars without anti-lock braking systems. Try to remain calm and decelerate in a controlled fashion while steering your way out of the skid.

4. Don't tailgate. Remember that it can take a lot farther to stop in the snow. If traffic slows unexpectedly - something that is common in a storm - you don't want to slide uncontrollably into the car ahead of you.

5. Remember that four-wheel-drive won't always save you. While it can help, a car on ice can slide whether it's in two-wheel drive or four. Always drive safely no matter what vehicle you have.

Seeking Compensation After A Winter Accident

Of course, even if you use all of these tips, other drivers could drive too fast for conditions, make mistakes in the snowy weather, and cause accidents.

When you're hurt in one of these crashes, you may be able to seek financial compensation to help with lost wages, medical bills, and much more.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation, "Drive To Survive In Winter Weather," accessed Jan. 13, 2017