The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) offers the following travel tips for the fall season:

GAME PLAN for your travels.

Seasonal Tips:

  • Look out for pedestrians with the lack of daylight. Many will be commuting to and from work in darkness.
  • Watch for patches of wet leaves, which present slippery & dangerous driving conditions.
  • When driving in fog, use low beam headlights since the high beam setting creates glare and reduces visibility.
  • Sun-glare impacts increase this time of the year. Keep sunglasses handy, use visors and keep the inside of your windshield clean.
  • The risk of deer/vehicle collisions is greatest during autumn and early winter. Two-thirds of these crashes occur in October, November and December. Stay alert.

Please use caution, reduce speeds and increase following distances when traveling on wet roads. Wipers On = Headlights On! BUT please turn them off in the toll lanes as a courtesy to our Toll Collectors.

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

  • It Can Wait - it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
  • State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
  • Buckle Up! Every Seat. Every Time.
  • Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.
  • Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.
  • Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-use signals.
  • Save the tailgating for the stadium - keep a safe following distance.
  • Avoid distractions - keep your eyes on the road.
  • Make sure your vehicle is "road ready."
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
  • When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:
    • The location of the emergency;
    • A call-back telephone number; and
    • Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.

On all MDTA bridges, wind warnings and restrictions would be implemented as outlined below*:

  • Wind Warnings (sustained wind speeds of 30-39 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 30 mph over a period of 15 mins) operators of house trailers, box trailers, motorcycles, vehicles with roof-mount racks containing cargo or any other vehicle that may be subject to high winds are advised to use caution while traveling across the bridge.
  • Limited Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds of 40-49 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 40 mph over a period of 15 mins) house trailers, empty box trailers or any vehicle that, in the opinion of law-enforcement personnel, may not safely cross the bridge will be prohibited from traveling the bridge. Motorists who are denied passage will be assisted with safely turning around.
  • Full Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds exceeding 50 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 50 mph over a period of 15 mins) only automobiles, pickup trucks, flatbed trailers, commercial buses and heavy-laden tractor/trailers are permitted to cross the bridge. Tractor-box trailer combinations will not be permitted to cross any bridge if the gross weight is less than 64,000 pounds.
  • Traffic Holds/Bridge Closure (sustained wind speeds exceeding 55 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 55 mph over a period of 15 mins) In the event of a sudden increase of sustained wind speeds or wind gusts that could jeopardize life or property, the MDTA may elect to discontinue the movement of all traffic across the bridge.

* When a wind warning, restriction or closure is implemented at the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40), no bicycles are permitted.

The MDTA thanks motorists for partnering with us. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!