Winter Requires Road And Vehicle Safety Preparations
On the precipice of winter, the State Highway Administration declared its readiness for the sleet, snow and freezing rain. On Nov. 19, the agency showed off some of its snow-fighting equipment that has been housed at its Hanover operations center and at its Fairland Maintenance Facility in Montgomery County.
“To complement its fleet of plow trucks, dual wing plows, tow plows and state-of-the-art snow blowers, SHA will deploy nine new ‘monster plow trucks’ that are nearly one and a half times the size of a regular plow truck,” the State Highway Administration announced. “The quad axle truck has extra salt and fuel capacity, allowing drivers to stay on routes longer before having to reload and refuel. Standard SHA trucks can carry seven cubic yards of salt and hold 80 gallons of biodiesel fuel. The quad axle truck can carry 17 cubic yards of salt and has a-120 gallon fuel tank.”
SHA Administrator Melinda Peters said, “Having the extra fuel capacity to remain on the roads for double the time as a standard truck is critical when storms are producing an inch or more of snow an hour.”
As the SHA does all it can to keep the roads safe, there are a few things motorists can do for the sake of safety, besides maintaining the vehicle. The inclement weather tips can be found in the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Driver’s Manual:
- Keeping a safe distance – the space needed between you and the car in front of you is much greater on wet roads than it is in dry conditions. This distance should be even further when the roadway is covered with snow/ice;
- Reducing speed to allow more time to react;
- Making sure your tires have sufficient tread, in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and vehicle guidelines;
- Avoiding slamming on the brakes, as this may cause your vehicle to skid. If your car does not have an anti-lock braking system, pump the brakes to prevent skidding;
- Avoiding sharp steering or changing speed quickly;
- Making sure your windshield wipers are in working condition; and
- Using your headlights.
The manual provides “special considerations” for driving on roadways that are covered with snow or ice, including slowing down in general and especially a long way before one gets to an intersection or turn; keeping windows and lights clear; starting out slowly and testing the brakes; keeping the gas tank and windshield fluid reservoir full; and keeping an emergency kit that includes, among many things, flares, a flashlight with batteries, first aid kit, and a blanket.
When You Are the Accident Victim
We know from news reports that accidents happen in slippery and dry conditions. We also know that some people will drive aggressively and will cause accidents at any time of the year. When you do everything in your power to be a safe and conscientious driver but someone causes you to crash, it is your right to hold accountable the one who caused the accident.
Consider obtaining a Maryland motor vehicle accident attorney and pursuing the compensation to which you may be entitled for medical expenses, lost time off of work, pain and suffering, and other losses.
A skilled lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company for the at-fault party. Typically, that insurance company protects its own interests in these circumstances, not necessarily yours. That is one reason for acquiring experienced legal representation. If you are a victim of an accident that is not your fault, give us a call for a free consultation.