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How to Drive in Maryland’s Weather Conditions

Here's what you need to know...
  • Maryland has a temperate climate where the area has four distinct seasons
  • January is the coldest month with an average temperature in the low 20’s
  • Summers can be mild to very hot with very little rain but high levels of humidity
  • If you’re driving during months with high freeze levels, be sure to have your car inspected regularly
  • You can’t control the weather so make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage and roadside assistance
Maryland isn’t just known for its delicious blue crabs, it’s also known for its beautiful crabapple trees. One of the main reasons that these whimsical trees can bloom in this prideful state is because of its temperate weather.

While there are four distinct seasons in all of the counties dispersed throughout Maryland, it doesn’t ever get extremely hot or extremely cold.

If you’re about to become a Marylander yourself or you’re simply visiting the land of the Ravens to see what all of the fuss is about, you need to prepare yourself to drive in Maryland’s unique weather conditions. Make sure to compare rates to ensure you get the coverage you need with our free comparison tool above!

You may not experience temperatures in the 100’s or freezing sub zero temperatures, but you should still be prepared to deal with unique conditions:

What is the weather like in Maryland?

 

AdobeStock_113640484-1600x1600If you love to be able to differentiate one season from another, Maryland will give you just that.

It’s not a tropical area where you can’t tell fall from summer but rather a region in the Northern Hemisphere right between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle. Because of the state’s proximity to the coast, you can expect high levels of humidity on mild summer days.

Much like all areas with four distinct seasons, you can expect temperatures to climb to their highest levels in Summer and their lowest in Winter.

It’s reported that the summer average temperature is 72.7 degrees, with the peak temperatures being reported in July. In winter months, the average drops to 34.1 degrees, with the coldest days falling in January.

– How often does it rain and snow?

While rain is common in the spring between April and May, the precipitation rates are highest in July and August.

Throughout the year, there are 40.76 inches of rain but there is a thunderstorm once every five days at the peak of the summer which adds to the humidity.

It snows only about an average of 20 inches per year and a majority of the snow falls in the Eastern Shore. Expect to see the most snow in January and February.

– How long do seasons last?

The length of seasons in Maryland varies from year to year. Since the weather is fairly mild all year long, you might notice some shifts in when the seasons begin and end only when there are extreme freeze periods.

Typically, the spring season is reported between March and May. Spring may not start until April if there’s a long winter.

From June through September you’ll experience the start, peak, and end of summer followed by fall which lasts from October through early December.

Winter then falls between December and February. In Maryland, the groundhog named Western Maryland Murray determines how long winter lasts.

If the groundhog sees its shadow on February 2, then there will be six additional weeks of winter. It’s a statewide tradition.

Driving Tips for Bad Weather in Maryland

You can be vulnerable to bad weather anywhere in the United States. Even though Maryland has a very temperate climate, there are still storm and extreme heat warnings reported from time to time.

You have to prepare yourself and your vehicle for conditions before setting off on an adventure.

Here are some valuable tips:

– Prepping Your Car

If you’re driving with dull headlights or tires that are on the verge of having a blowout, you’re putting yourself at major risk. The problem compounds when you factor in bad weather conditions. The key to staying as safe as possible is to prep your car.

By prepping your car, that means having all of the systems and vital components inspected prior to driving.

If you’re going to inspect your car on your own, you need a thorough checklist so that you don’t miss something until it’s too late and you’re stuck on the side of the road. Here’s a complete list of components to inspect:

  • Inspect your windshield wipers and replace them if they are worn or the rubber is cracked
  • Clean your headlamps to make sure they are free of condensation so that the headlights can light up your path in the dark
  • Check your tire tread and replace tires if they are worn
  • Have your battery tested
  • Check your windshield for cracks
  • Monitor tire pressure and make sure the tires are properly inflated based on current temperatures
  • Check your brakes and rotors to see how much life they have left

Not only should you inspect your car, you should also stock it with all of the things that you would need in the event of an emergency. If you don’t already have a fully stocked emergency kit, now is the time to make one. Your emergency kit should include the following items:

  • Water
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Glow sticks
  • Matches
  • Emergency candles
  • Battery-powered radio
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Battery jump starter
  • Tool kit
  • Shovel
  • Map
  • Snacks

What to Do In Certain Driving Conditions

You have to adopt different driving habits based on the conditions that you’re driving in. No matter how beautiful the sights can be as there’s a fresh layer of snow on the ground, all of that beauty could be a time for chaos when you’re driving on a road covered by new snow.

Here are some tips for each weather condition:

– Snow and Winter Storms

AdobeStock_61251430-1600x1600When you’re driving in the snow, always clear the ice and snow from all windows and the hood of the car for better visibility. Always buckle up and avoid driving in harsh conditions whenever possible. If you must drive, allow plenty of space for stopping. If you do skid, never slam on your brakes.

Ease off the gas and turn your wheel in the direction of the skid to gain traction.Always have a shovel with you if you get stuck in the snow. If you can’t drive, don’t abandon your vehicle.

Be sure to move the car off of the road and leave some sort of signal showing you were in distress. If you’re driving around snow plows, don’t crowd them or pass them. Always stay 25 feet behind a snowplow or snow emergency vehicle.

– Rain and Flooding

 

There’s a lot more precipitation in Maryland than there is snow. You may need to be more familiar with driving in the rain than you need to be with driving in the snow. If you’re going to be traveling the roads during the peak season for rain, make sure you’re familiar with the areas that are prone to flooding first.

You should always be extra cautious when driving in the rain, but that’s especially true if it hasn’t rained in a while. The roads are slippery with oil if it hasn’t been washed away recently.

Always turn on your headlights and keep a safe distance with the car in front of you. It’s best to stay closer to the middle of the road to avoid puddles that could cause you to lose control of your car.

– Extreme Cold

tree-451650_1920-1600x1600It doesn’t have to be raining or snowing for the cold to put you at risk while you’re operating a car. If you’re going to be driving after the temperatures drop, make sure that your tires are inflated properly.

The change in air temperature creates a need for a higher PSI. When warming your car, make sure to heat it up after removing the car from the garage. It’s also best to avoid using cruise control because there could be slippery surfaces.

What coverage will protect you from bad weather?

AdobeStock_92452708-1600x1600You should always protect yourself so that you have someone to turn to in the case of an emergency. Avoidance is best but you never know what could happen in any weather condition. It’s crucial that you have the right auto insurance coverage.

By law, you have to maintain only a minimum amount of liability insurance. The requirements in Maryland aren’t extremely high. You should have higher limits of liability for more protection.

You should also consider buying a comprehensive insurance policy that includes the protections that aren’t deemed mandatory. Here’s a list of what a comprehensive policy will include:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Rental car
  • Uninsured Motorist
  • Medical Payments
  • Roadside assistance

Comprehensive also covers damages from natural disasters like hail, flooding, lightning, earthquakes, and just about anything else you can think of.

In addition to auto insurance, you should look for roadside assistance memberships that provide even more roadside protection. Having a truck dispatched to you when you break down or you have a flat will help you during emergencies without breaking the bank.

You might have coverage under your auto policy, but it doesn’t hurt to have additional safeguards that pay for gaps in protection.

The average auto insurance premium in Maryland for a full coverage policy is $1001.17 per year. If you’re a low-risk driver, you could find even lower premiums.

The key is to shop around and compare at least four quotes to find the most competitive rates. If you’re ready to find a low-cost premium, use an online rate comparison tool to get instant quotes in a few minutes.

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