Drive Safely in Maryland (Part 2)

Safe-Driving Tips

Plan!

Plan your trip — official Maryland Highway Maps and useful tourism information are free online and at rest areas.

Call for help

Call #77 to request non-emergency police assistance. Use 911 solely for emergencies.

Tires

Keep your tires properly inflated, keep adequate fuel in your tank, clean your windows (inside and out), and make sure your wipers are in good condition.

Headlights

Turn your headlights on when visibility is poor and use wipers and headlights in inclement weather. Maryland law requires headlights whenever windshield wipers are used continuously because of poor visibility.

Speed and distance

Obey all posted speed limits, and reduce speed when conditions are less than ideal. Fines are doubled for exceeding Work Zone speed limits.

Maintain a safe distance (at least two or three car lengths, corresponding to two or three seconds) from the vehicle in front of you. Here's a tip: Begin counting "1001", "1002", and "1003" as the car ahead of you passes a fixed point. If you pass that same point before you get to "1003," you're following too closely!

Be aware of traffic all around you. Leave a safety cushion — room to maneuver in case of emergency.

Continually scan the roadway in front of you at least as far as you can travel in 10 seconds, (use the method of saying "1001," "1002," "1003," etc... to count).

Driving near trucks

When sharing the road with large trucks, avoid traveling in the truck's blind spots (areas beside and behind the truck). Remember that trucks are difficult to maneuver and need longer distances to stop.

Signaling

Signal all turns and lane changes well in advance.

Use your emergency flashers to alert other drivers whenever they must use unusual care in approaching or passing you — such as when you are traveling exceptionally slow and visibility is poor.

Pass only when it is lawful and safe.

Weaving in and out of traffic

Don't weave from lane to lane through traffic. Don't impede traffic by traveling too slowly.

Pedestrians and cyclists

Be considerate of pedestrians and cyclists; yield to pedestrians crossing streets and driveways.

Safety messages

Follow highway safety messages and tune to the travelers’ advisory radio frequency (1610 AM) to hear highway and traffic conditions.

Emergency rescue vehicles

During peak travel periods, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has courtesy service patrols on the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), Capital Beltway (I-495), and the I-95 corridor. If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain with the vehicle until State Highway, State Police, or local police arrive to assist. Do not abandon your vehicle!

Aggressive drivers

The Maryland State Police has an active aggressive driver campaign, which focuses enforcement on drivers who exceed the speed limit, follow too closely, pass improperly, weave, fail to yield the right of way, run red lights and disregard other traffic signals and signs.

Out-of-State drivers

As a member of the Driver's License Compact, Maryland reports traffic violations to out-of-state motorist's home states.

Be Courteous!

Help by driving in a courteous and lawful manner!

Spend some time in Maryland if you can. But whether you stay or are just driving through, drive safely.

For help contact the Maryland Highway Safety Office at mhso@sha.state.md.us.

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