Westminster, MD, Wednesday, December 6, 2023 – For Carroll Countians, the next few months usually means traveling in wintery weather when road conditions are less than ideal. On average, more than 200,000 crashes occur statewide every year due to unsafe driving – moving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or failing to maintain a lane and overcorrecting – in inclement weather. Winter weather conditions require motorists to drive more slowly and allow extra space between their vehicles and others. Under any type of weather conditions, wearing a seat belt and focusing on the road is crucial.

Winter Driving Tips

Inspect your vehicle for safety. Always keep winter-specific items in the car emergency kit such as tire chains, flashlight, ice scraper, snow shovel, kitty litter/sand, first-aid supplies, extra clothes/gloves, blankets, non-perishable food/water, flares, and jumper cables. A good list is available here: https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/emergency-preparedness/emergency-supplies-for-car 

Remove ALL snow and ice from your entire vehicle, with emphasis on the vehicle’s roof, windows, mirrors, and lights, prior to driving. Snow that is blowing from a vehicle can decrease visibility for you as well as the cars behind. Also, snow and ice that dislodges while driving can cause damage to other vehicles and even injuries to other drivers and pedestrians. 

Before traveling, check tires, brakes, lights, battery, wipers, defroster, heater, and vehicle fluid levels.

Always be aware of the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never leave a vehicle running in your garage – even with an open garage door.  Remove any snow that has accumulated around the exhaust pipe before starting your car and don’t leave your car running while clearing it off. Do not stay in a running car whose exhaust is covered by ice or snow.   

Only travel in winter weather when it is essential and leave early to provide adequate time to safely reach your destination.

Slow down on winter roads: speed limits are based on dry pavement and clear weather.

Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.

Watch carefully for snow removal equipment.

Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, as they may be icy.

Carroll County residents and motorists are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information:

Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration - Safe Winter Driving Practices

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Winter Driving Tips

AAA - Winter Driving Tips

Watch for tomorrow’s release on resources for winter.