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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Drive Safely During Inclement Weather - SUV's - This Means You Too!!!

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

During the early morning snow today, sleet and rain were creating hazardous driving conditions on area roadways. The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department responded to an above average number of incidents for motor vehicle crashes, most of which did not result in serious injury.

As is a typical scenario when Mother Nature creates these dangerous driving conditions, Firefighter/Medics found a high number of crashes involving four-wheel-drive Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) leaving the roadway and crashing, often times being the only vehicle involved.

NEWS FLASH – SUV’s do not posses any magic capability that allows them to drive in an unsafe manner on poor road conditions during inclement weather.

The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department do not want to respond during hazardous conditions and you can help us stay inside the station. With additional snow/ice predicted for this afternoon we offer the following safe driving tips so you can arrive home safely and we can stay available for other emergencies.

Please follow these simple driving safety tips:

Stay off the roads during and immediately after the storm, allow road crews to do their jobs safely.

If you must drive; use your headlights, reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. If possible, travel on flat roads and avoid hills and roads with steep inclines. Start your braking earlier then normal and allow the vehicle to coast to a complete stop.

Some operators of SUV’s believe they can negotiate snow covered roads at higher rates of speed and shorter stopping distances; this is a dead wrong belief. SUV drivers need to follow the same safe driving habits just like everyone else, if not, then one of our firefighter/medics will soon pay them a visit off the side of the road somewhere.

The safest way to travel during a snow/ice storm is not to travel, wait out the storm and continue when road conditions improve.

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