Driving will be so much easier if you are always on a straight, bright, empty, and dry road.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case — you will meet all sorts of road conditions in Maryland. Not to mention, the weather can cause a big impact on driving.
This is why, today, we’re going to give you safe driving tips through the most common Maryland road conditions. This way, you’ll know what to do and how to stay safe.
So let’s dive right in!
Driving Through Maryland Road Conditions
Here, we’ll look at the safe driving tips when:
- Driving at night
- Driving through fog
- Driving on snow and ice
- Driving through highway-railroad crossings
- Driving through work zones
- Driving in roundabouts
Safety Tips When Driving at Night
Driving at night is definitely more difficult and dangerous than daytime driving.
For one, it’s harder to see vehicles’ distance and speed, pedestrians, and even other road obstacles.
Not to mention, during the night, there are more chances of meeting drowsy or drunk drivers.
But of course, we can’t avoid driving at night, so keep these safety tips in mind:
- Make sure your headlights are on and use high beams when needed. NOTE: if using a high beam, make sure to lower it if there is a vehicle in the opposite lane.
- Look ahead and not directly at oncoming vehicles’ lights. This will impair your eyesight and give you a hard time seeing your surroundings.
- Slow down and increase your distance to the car in front.
- Keep a watchful eye on pedestrians and other obstacles.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Fog
Driving through fog requires a lot of caution. Compared to night driving where you can see the cars ahead with their head and tail lights, driving through thick fog can obscure even those.
If that’s the case, then make sure to follow these tips:
- Wait for the fog to pass before going out. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Reduce your speed. Go as slowly as possible so you will have time to react if there is something in front.
- If you see a car’s tail lights in front of you, slow down immediately. You might be a lot closer than you think.
- Turn on your fog lights. If not, then use low beam lights only. A high beam is a bad idea as that can reflect the fog and make it even harder to see what’s in front.
- If the fog becomes so thick that it has almost zero visibility, pull off to the side of the road and turn on your flashers or wait it out at a safe spot.
Safety Tips When Driving on Snow and Ice
It’s very tricky when you drive on snow or ice. You can be driving at a slow pace and still experience a slight skid.
The different roads and locations also affect the level of safety. Factors such as the amount of sun, shade, salt, and snow cause all kinds of road conditions. You might not spot the thin layers of ice building up on the road.
So when you drive on ice, keep in mind that you can’t trust the road completely and you need to slooooooowww down as much as possible.
Here are some other tips:
- Start slowly and test the road before you drive off at a “normal” speed. We also suggest you test your brakes to check their grip.
- Keep mirrors, windows, and lights all clear. Before you drive your car, make sure to remove all the snow and ice building up on your vehicle.
- If you have snow tires, then change to snow tires. This will give you better grip and handling on the wet road.
- Always have a full tank of gas. You never know what will happen and how long you’ll be on the road because of your reduced speed.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Highway-Railroad Crossings
You’ve probably crossed a highway-railroad crossing at some point in your life. And we all know that stopping a train takes longer than getting it to run. This means that when a train is approaching, it’s usually us who stop and take more caution.
Here are tips for safe driving along highway-railroad crossings:
- All vehicles approaching the tracks must make a complete stop before the track or crossing line.
- If you see that there is a gate or pole in front and a red light, it means you should stop as a train is approaching.
- Once the trains have passed, cautiously proceed to cross before you enter the tracks. Make sure to look at both of your sides, too.
- Don’t cross the track if there are other vehicles or a train from the opposite track still at the crossing. Wait for the tracks to be clear.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Work Zones
Work zones are common wherever you are. There’s always ongoing construction, maintenance, or utility work on the Maryland roadways.
Now, when you’re approaching a work zone, expect that the roads will have narrow lanes, lane shifts, new traffic patterns, lane closures, uneven surfaces, detours, etc.
So here are a few things you need to take a note of as you approach a work zone:
- Always be on the lookout for work zone signs. These signs will tell you what you can and cannot do.
- Reduce your speed since there might be lane changes, equipment at the side, uneven surfaces, etc.
- Minimize distractions and focus on the road. You’ll be encountering different road conditions, and more people and workers on the street, so you should focus on the road ahead.
- Respect and follow the flagger ahead. Some work sites have one or two flaggers on standby to help warn and direct traffic.
Safety Tips When Driving in Roundabouts
Many drivers are nervous about driving in roundabouts because of the number of cars going in and out.
To lessen your dreams when driving in roundabouts, we’ve listed down some tips for you:
- Reduce your speed and look at all sides before entering the roundabout and/or switching lanes.
- Once you’re in the roundabout, stay at the right of the island and move slowly to the different lanes as you approach your exit.
- Before you switch lanes or exit the roundabout, make sure to turn on your signal to alert other vehicles near or behind you.
And those were the safe driving tips for the most common Maryland road conditions.
You can never know what to expect on the roads you’ll be driving on. To take care of yourself, your vehicle, and others surrounding you, always drive with caution and follow the road rules and signs.
Make sure to adjust your driving speed, your lights, and your level of alertness, depending on the environment you’re in.
Follow these tips above and have a safe trip!