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Maryland prepares roads for snow, freezing rain

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Posted at 12:46 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 17:50:55-05

Winter weather advisories have been issued through Saturday, bringing freezing rain, snow and the threat of slippery roadways across Maryland.

Crews pretreated interstates and major roads with salt brine Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s wintry mix, according to the State Highway Administration.

RELATED: Snow and ice possible by the weekend

As precipitation is expected to fall late Friday night into Saturday morning, motorists should watch out for slick roads overnight, particularly elevated lanes of bridges, overpasses and ramps.

“SHA reminds drivers that, while four-wheel drive helps when it snows, icy roads are extremely dangerous, even if you encounter a small patch,” SHA District Engineer Gregory C. Johnson said in a news release. “Speed limits are set for optimal conditions so please keep speeds down and allow for extra braking distance. Crews will be out working to make your travels safe so we ask that you give them the space to do so.”

RELATED: How to prepare your car for extreme cold weather

Drivers are also advised to stick to these safe driving tips in inclement weather:

  • During a snow storm don’t drive if you don’t have to.
  • “Don’t Crowd the Plow” – NEVER pass a snow plow or plow train (a series of plows working in tandem). If driving behind a snow plow or salt truck, provide plenty of space (at least 7-8 car lengths) behind the truck.
  • “Know Before you Go.” Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit: www.md511.org for current travel information.
  • Remember – bridges, ramps and overpasses freeze first. Use caution when driving across them.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicles are just as vulnerable to slipping on ice as regular two-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Pack a winter driving survival kit – including a shovel, blanket, water, jumper cables, flares, snacks and a flash light.
  • Before taking to the road, log onto www. roads.maryland.gov, click on the CHART icon and view traffic cameras.
  • Clear snow from your vehicle’s headlights, roof and from other places that may obstruct vision or become a danger to other motorists.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in proper working condition. Check the battery, tire tread and pressure, belts, hoses and fluid levels.
  • Travel with plenty of gas in the tank.
  • When shoveling snow, please do not place it in the street/roadway. Plow trucks push snow to the right. When facing your driveway, pile snow to your left, off the road. This reminder will save you additional hours of shoveling! 

A total of 380,000 tons of salt are available for use this winter season. The State Highway Administration maintains the interstates and numbered routes in Maryland’s 23 counties.

RELATED: Baltimore area weather forecast
 

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