Traffic Safety Laws (Part 2)

Additional safe-driving requirements and tips

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Obey all posted speed limits, and reduce speed when conditions are less than ideal. Fines are doubled for exceeding a Work Zone speed limit.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Don't weave from lane to lane through traffic. Don't impede traffic by traveling too slowly.
  • Be considerate of pedestrians and cyclists; yield to pedestrians crossing streets and driveways.

If you are in a traffic collision, Maryland law requires that you stop; give driver's license, vehicle registration, and insurance information; and render aid. If possible, remove your vehicle from travel lanes. Typically, police will NOT investigate an accident if no one is injured and the vehicles can be driven from the scene.