Every driver knows that the weather can play a huge role in their safety when they are out on the road. It is one of the primary factors that can affect the severity of car crashes, along with drunk driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt.
Bad weather also seems to make reckless drivers even more dangerous. Maryland’s winters are always filled with bad weather which only increases the chance of catastrophic accidents. That is why drivers must ensure they are taking extra precautions this winter to stay safe on the roads.
The first Winter Safety Week launched this season
Recently, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the first annual Winter Safety Week in Maryland. The campaign combines several agencies, including The Maryland Emergency Management Agency, The Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration and Maryland State Police.
The goal of this team effort is to help Marylanders prepare for winter early, so they can stay safe all season long.
What does this mean for drivers?
The Winter Safety campaign focuses on general safety. One of the tips tells individuals to always have a cellphone on them, so they can call for help if they are stuck in the cold weather.
Drivers should take heed of the campaign and focus on road safety as well. While it is true that statistics show that the summertime generally brings a higher risk of car accidents, drivers must still be aware of the heightened risk winter weather poses. The dangerous season is already starting, demonstrated by the heavy fog that led to a 58-car pileup on I-68 in western Maryland this year.
Tips to help drivers stay safe this winter
Staying safe on the roads during the winter requires two things: careful preparation before hitting the road and defensive driving when behind the wheel. For example, drivers should:
- Prepare and check their vehicle ahead of time to ensure everything works;
- Check the weather forecast every time before leaving;
- Drive slowly, allow plenty of time and space to stop;
- Make sure to keep plenty of space between vehicles on the road; and
- Ensure they avoid all of the different types of distractions while driving.
Drivers’ dedication to safety should last all winter and not only for one week of the long season of bad weather. This can help drivers and their passengers to significantly reduce the chance of an accident and severe injury.