On Monday February 16, Maryland officials began preparations for the latest Arctic freeze expected to swoop through the DMV area. By early evening accidents were already being reported across the state and 795 was covered in inches of slush. The primary concern was the incredibly low temperatures. “That precludes us from pre-treating with the salt brine that you’re used to seeing, the streaks on the roadway, that’s 22-24% salt. The rest is water so we do not want to cause a flash freeze situation,” said Charlie Gischlar of Maryland State Highway Administration. While many Maryland residents are already traversing through the cold and snow, most won’t see the results of the storm until their morning commute. Officials expect the area will see more car accidents over the next few days as road crews continue to attempt to clear the streets. If you find yourself driving along the Maryland roadways during this treacherous winter weather, here are some tips to help you arrive safely:
Remember that exposure is a primary cause of emergency room visits during the winter. Even if you are not the one involved in a car accident, you may be one of the unlucky commuters who are stuck behind an accident. With the winter weather causing so many collisions, it comes as no surprise that it may take road crews a bit longer than normal to clear the wreckage. This means that you may be stuck on the highway for an indefinite length of time. It certainly does not hurt to bring snacks, water, and especially coats when you are out and about during these remaining winter months.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Everything from your car’s tires to the brake fluid will be affected by exposure to the elements. It is important to take your car in for regular maintenance if you expect to be traveling during the year’s coldest months. This is especially true if you plan on making trips far from your home. Being stuck in a snowstorm or waiting for a collision to be cleared would be even worse if your car’s heat is not working properly.
It is always a wise decision to pay attention to the commuters traversing the expressways alongside you. This, however, is exponentially more important when the roadways are affected by weather. Semi-trucks will normally take 40% more time to stop than a standard passenger car. Consider how long it will take a passenger car to stop on ice or slush and then think about a semi-truck’s braking power. Give cars extra room to stop and account for a loss of traction.
Although it does seem that car accidents are sometimes unavoidable, taking these minor precautions will definitely increase your chances of a safe arrival. If you are involved in a weather-related car accident, don’t take any chances with your insurance company. Contact our attorneys today and let us help you seek the compensation you are entitled to.