Peace.  Mobility.  Zero Fatalities.  This is the holiday wish list from the Maryland State Highway Administration, along with a reminder to be safe on the roads while enjoying the holiday season. With frequent holiday parties and shoppers out and about, there is a heightened concern for pedestrian and impaired driving crashes. Please stay alert, assign a designated driver and always buckle up.

In the event of any wintry precipitation this holiday season or any time this winter, SHA’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will activate near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Hanover at SHA’s 24-hour Statewide Operations Center (SOC). The SOC coordinates statewide winter operations and works closely with SHA’s CHART program, sharing information with motorists around the clock and assisting tens of thousands of motorists each year.

AAA is predicting highest travel volumes since 2001, this holiday season they are estimating that 90 percent of holiday travelers will be driving to their destinations. Most accidents are preventable; stay on the “good” list by referring to these helpful tips:

  • Know before you go with Maryland’s free 5-1-1 service that provides drivers with the latest travel routes and can be customized to pinpoint your precise route. Call 5-1-1 or visit www.md511.org for information.
  • Drive focused – Maryland law prohibits hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving.
  • Buckle up! It’s the law in Maryland and your number one defense in a crash.
  • Move over to an adjacent travel lane away from emergency personnel – a Maryland law requires it.
  • Never drink and drive! Designate a sober driver.
  • See and be seen. Maryland State Law requires the use of headlights while windshield wipers are in use.
  • Allow extra time for unexpected delays.
  • Check your vehicle’s lights, tires, battery and windshield wipers for proper operation. Slow down and pay attention, avoiding distractions while driving.
  • In case you are involved in a minor crash, safely move your vehicle from the travel lanes – Its Maryland’s law!
  • The National Click it or Ticket campaign will be underway; police will be enforcing seat belt laws.
  • Keep gas tanks full to prevent freezing. Also make sure windshield wiper fluid reservoirs are topped off.