The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is preparing for one of the worst timed snow storms of the season – only one or two inches of snow are expected, but predicted to hit at the worst possible time – rush hour. Current forecasts show precipitation falling between 4 and 9 p.m., which could result in major delays if motorists do not adjust their schedules. The timing of the storm presents problems because SHA trucks will be in the same traffic as everyone else and unable to treat roads, making rush hour not only messy but increasing chances for collisions.

“We’ve seen it before and it is the same every time – one inch becomes a nightmare for commuters and our salt trucks if the snow falls during rush hour as predicted,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  “We need motorists to be part of the solution. Leaving work at your normal departure time could significantly add to your commute. We implore drivers to alter their travel plans to be safe and avoid extensive delays in frigid temperatures and bad weather.”

“While it might be sunny and clear at 2 or 3 p.m., this storm will move fast and before you realize it, you may not have time to make your commute home. Please monitor the weather throughout the day and if you cannot leave early, consider staying late or using transit to avoid driving,” added Administrator Peters.

While the best advice is to avoid travel later this afternoon and early evening, if you must do so keep in mind that visibility may be dramatically reduced, so be sure to use your headlights. Not only will it help you see, but will help you be seen by others.  Maryland law requires headlight use when wipers are in use.

Traffic cameras and the latest free traffic and weather information is available by calling 5-1-1 from a landline or a hands-free mobile device or logging onto Maryland’s 511 service now offers free text and email alerts for most frequented routes through 511Direct – simply register and set your routes and preferences on-line.