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Motorists Urged to Use Caution Due to Dangerous Driving Conditions

Last Updated on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:35am | Emergency Management

From the Maryland State Highway Administration:

Motorists Urged to Prepare for Probability of Dangerous Driving Conditions in Western Maryland
(December 20, 2012) – Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) crews in Western Maryland are preparing for blizzard conditions in advance of a storm forecasted to begin tonight as rain, and then quickly change to snow Friday and Saturday.  Sustained winds of 25 to 45 mph are expected, which could cause issues with blowing and drifting snow, creating dangerous driving conditions.

“Based on the latest forecast, this storm will hit Western Maryland and points west,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  “SHA crews are prepared and ready and we are asking anyone traveling west to do the same. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition if you must travel and please consider delaying your trip as conditions are expected to be treacherous through Saturday.  Call 511 for current weather and traffic information and Know Before You Go!”

SHA reached out to the trucking community alerting them to the potential for dangerous driving conditions. During snow storms of six inches or more, tractor trailer drivers may use several park and ride lots as safe havens instead of parking on ramps and along roadsides.

If your vehicle does become disabled, make every effort to move it from the travel lane and onto the shoulder.  Stay tuned to radio traffic reports for the most up-to-date information.  Additionally, if traffic signals are out on secondary roads as a result of power outages, use EXTREME caution.  Don’t assume the other vehicle will stop; only pass through an intersection when clear.  Never pass a snow plow or snow plow train.  The safest place to be is safely behind the plows, which are clearing the roads ahead.

Motorists should always have an emergency survival kit to include:

  • a shovel
  • jumper cables
  • snacks
  • blanket or sleeping bag
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • high calorie non-perishable food
  • first aid kit  
  • extra clothes
  • bottled water
  • a charged cell phone
  • kitty litter or other abrasives

Remember to buckle up and “Take It Slow on Ice and Snow.”  Before leaving the office or home, log onto and click the CHART icon for the latest road conditions, live traffic cameras and a variety of information to help with travel decisions and planning.  Citizens can also follow SHA on Twitter @MDSHA and on Facebook.

A new FREE service this year is the “511 Traveler Information” system.  To Know Before You Go! simply dial 511 from a land line or mobile phone for traffic, weather alerts and road conditions.   For internet access, visit  While there, register with My511 to customize your reports on your most frequent routes and areas of interest.