Survival Skills For Driving In Winter Weather

Maryland Department of Transportation State
Highway Administration

snow pictureDrive To Survive In Winter Weather
The State Highway Administration (SHA) realizes the difficulty of driving during the harsh conditions of winter weather. SHA's skilled drivers have years of training and experience in dealing with snow and icy conditions. Here are some tips to help you on your way this season

Be sure to buckle up and require your passengers to do the same.

When a snow emergency is declared, make every effort to avoid driving or allow extra time to get where you are going. Keep in mind that when roadways are icy or snow covered, you should never expect to drive as you would during clear weather or on dry road surfaces

Should your car begin to skid, remember not to panic or slam on your brakes. Take your foot off the gas pedal and immediately steer in the direction of the skid.

Increase following distance between your vehicle and others on the road, especially snowplows. Packed snow and ice may create a smooth, glass-like surface beneath your tires making it difficult to control your vehicle.

Remember bridges and ramps freeze first and may be especially difficult to navigate.

Never pass a snow plow or salt truck especially a plow train! Plow trains are groups of trucks which form a line across the lanes to clear snow. Operators may not see you or your car may get caught on a snow-covered plow edge. In addition, driving will be much easier if you stay at least 25 feet, or three car lengths, behind the snow emergency vehicle.

Do not abandon your vehicle. The safest place to wait for help is in your car. If your car breaks down, move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible and lift the hood. Try to leave a distress signal, such as a scarf, hanging from the window. Please remember, when you abandon your vehicle, it may be subject to towing, ticketing and a fine.

Remember, when shoveling snow from your driveway, create a pile away from the roadway. A good rule is to shovel to the right when facing the street. However, keep in mind that the important thing is not to shovel the snow onto an area that will simply be plowed back onto the driveway when the state, county or city snowplows come through.


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