FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — We are officially in the midst of the winter season, and although snow hasn’t hit the ground yet, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is offering tips on how drivers can prepare for travel in the event, or snow, sleet or ice.

According to FCSO, from December 21, 2020, through March 20, 2021, they responded to more than 600 calls for service involving vehicle incidents and from December 21, 2019, through March 19, 2020, FCSO responded to nearly 680 calls.

In each of the last two winter seasons, that is more than 200 calls a month for vehicle incidents.

To stay safe, officials recommend during a forecasted weather event or snowstorm, the sheriff’s office recommends you stay off the roads, but if it’s essential that you drive, they say before the winter season gets rough, it’s important to get a mechanic to check out your car and ensure it can handle the weather. 

The FCSO also recommends:

  • Do not crowd a snowplow or travel beside it. Give them plenty of room and use caution if you decide to pass it.
  • Ensure tire pressure is correct in each of your tires. Cold weather effects tire pressure.
  • When dressing children in warmer clothes, adequately adjust their car seat belts to account for the additional clothing.
  • Ensure you are familiar with your car’s systems, including all-wheel and four-wheel drive.
  • Work with someone to check your vehicle lights, ensuring all lights are properly functioning.
  • Check your windshield wipers and wiper fluid reservoir, ensuring the wipers work and the reservoir is full.

Additionally, make sure your vehicle is prepared with the following items:

  • Ice scraper, snow shovel, and/or broom.
  • Sand or cat litter in case your vehicle is stuck in the snow.
  • Jumper cables, flashlight (with extra batteries), reflective triangles, flares, brightly colored and/or reflective clothing, and other warning devices.
  • Blankets, water, food, necessary medicine, a first aid kit, and a cell phone charger.