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Winter driving safety tips to help you avoid accidents

The winter months often bring cold temperatures and snow to The Old Line State. While snowfalls can be beautiful, they also increase the likelihood of car accidents.

Taking safety precautions can help you to avoid winter crashes.

Maryland winters

The average annual snowfall in Maryland is 20.6 inches, and the winter average temperature is 34.1 degrees. These around-freezing temps often lead to slick roads.

Prepare your car

Ensuring that your vehicle is winter-ready is important for safe driving in Maryland’s colder months. Check tire tread depth, maintain proper tire pressure and equip your vehicle with winter-grade windshield washer fluid.

Additionally, confirm that your brakes, lights and battery are in optimal condition to minimize the risk of breakdowns.

Slow and steady wins the race

When facing adverse weather conditions, slow down and increase following distances to account for reduced visibility and potential road hazards. This cautious approach allows for better reaction time in case of unexpected situations, reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Watch out for black ice

Slick roads, particularly when coated with black ice, often cause car accidents. Black ice is often challenging to detect, so drive at moderate speeds and avoid sudden maneuvers. Increased stopping distances and gentle turns help prevent loss of control on icy surfaces.

Common winter accident injuries

Winter accidents can result in various injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Common injuries include:

Whiplash. Sudden stops or collisions can cause neck injuries, especially in rear-end accidents.

Fractures. Impact from a collision can lead to broken bones, particularly in high-force accidents.

Bruises. The force of an accident may cause bruises to various parts of the body.

Head Injuries. Trauma to the head can occur, ranging from mild concussions to severe head injuries.

After car accidents, damages may include medical expenses, vehicle repairs and lost wages. Victims can also seek compensation for pain and suffering.

Pedestrian safety

Pedestrians are also at risk during winter, with decreased visibility and slippery surfaces. Walk on designated pathways, wear visible clothing and exercise caution when crossing roads or parking lots. Drivers should keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially in poorly lit areas.

Prioritize safety on winter roads

Navigating winter roads in Maryland demands heightened awareness and preparedness. Prioritize safety for yourself and others on the road, recognizing the shared responsibility of creating a secure winter driving environment.

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