Officials advise how to drive safely this winter

Be prepared to regularly check up on your vehicle, road conditions

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Winter is indeed coming, and officials said your vehicle may be affected, especially its tires.

"One of the most important things you need to do is to make sure your tires are properly inflated, because if they're not, you're just not going to get the traction that you need  on the roadway," explained AAA, Public and Government Affairs Director, Tom Calcagni.

Even if your tires are in good shape, AAA officials said it won't mean much if your car won't start or if your engine freezes.

"If your battery is three years or older, there's a good chance it's at the end of its lifespan," Calcagni said. "You want to make sure that your antifreeze levels are high enough to sustain the vehicle and make sure that the lines don't freeze, and the engine works properly." 

If you've checked to see that your vehicle is in good condition, the roads you plan to travel on may not be.

The Maryland State Highway Administration created a website where you can go online, check the conditions of any roads you may be traveling on and see whether there are any road closures on the way.

"A lot of your rural state routes have a lot of tree cover that don't get significant sun as the interstates do. They may be more conducive to freezing [temperatures]," Mark Benner, Resident Maintenance Engineer, Maryland SHA, explained.

In the event of snow fall, the Maryland SHA has added two new snow machines to their Washington County fleet: a snow blower and plow.

But even if the roads are clear, and your car is in good shape, you will want to think twice before hitting the potentially icy roads.  

"If you don't have to go, don't go. That's the best advice I can give," Benner finished. 

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