There is nothing more stressful than driving to work, school, or another commitment during dangerous winter weather. Although many of our New Jersey towns prepare for storms by spreading salt, there always seems to be at least one rogue storm that nobody saw coming. According to Safe Winter Roads, an online resource website dedicated to winter safety, over 1,300 people are fatally injured and more than 116,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes on icy, slushy, or snowy roads each year.
This statistic begs the question, is it possible to drive safely in dangerous winter driving conditions? The answer is, probably not, but we can all drive smarter, reducing our risk of accidents and sliding events. However, winter driving safety should begin long before the first snowfall.
Waiting until the road conditions are dangerous may be too late. Taking precautions before a storm could not only save lives but prevent dangerous breakdowns in freezing temperatures.
- Winterize vehicles: Check anti-freeze, wiper fluid, and tire pressure before the next trip or commute.
- Tell a friend: A family member or coworker that knows the planned route and expected arrival time can act if things go wrong.
- Disaster supplies kit: Blankets, first aid kits, a flashlight, flares, a charged cell phone, jumper cables, and a spare tire could help turn a potential disaster into an inconvenience.
- Pack a windshield scraper and snow brush: Keep both in the car in case of a storm or poor visibility while traveling.
- Fill the tank: Prevent condensation build up, which can cause gas lines to freeze, by keeping your gas tank at least half-way filled.
- Warm-up: It is important to give vehicles time to warm-up, but do so in a well-ventilated area, never in a garage or closed space.
On the Road
Once a driver has taken the necessary pre-travel precautions, staying safe on the road means adjusting driving for the current conditions. Although winter weather can take us by surprise, it should be noted that the leading cause of inclement weather accidents is speed. What this essentially means is that the number one thing drivers can do to increase winter driving safety is to simply slow down and follow posted speed limits only when roads are dry and safe.
Additionally, drivers should remember to drive defensively in winter and can do so in the following ways:
- Pull off the road if visibility is poor
- Stay moving while traveling uphill
- Accelerate slowly
- Travel below posted speed limits in poor conditions
- Do not use cruise control
- Minimize distractions while driving, such as talking or changing radio stations
- Brake early
Egg Harbor Township Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Advocate for Drivers Injured in Winter Weather
Those injured in a winter weather car accident are often uncertain who is at fault. At the D’Amato Law Firm, an Egg Harbor Township car accident lawyer is ready to evaluate the details of your accident to determine not only who may be liable but what compensation is necessary. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or complete an online form for a free consultation. Our office is in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and we work with clients in Atlantic City and southern New Jersey.