Wintertime means snow and ice on the roads in New Jersey. Although the best way to avoid a winter weather-related motor vehicle accident is to avoid going out altogether, sometimes that isn’t always plausible. If you do have to get behind the wheel in bad winter weather in New Jersey, below are some tips to remember to help keep yourself safe and avoid a potentially catastrophic accident.
Do’s of Driving in Winter Weather in New Jersey
Some of the most popular examples of things to do when you have to drive in winter weather include:
- Drive slowly — When there is snow and ice on the, the safest speed is often slower than the posted speed limit. Take turns and corners slower than you might otherwise in clear conditions. Always remember to accelerate and brake slowly to avoid skidding out, and begin braking for traffic, red lights, and stop signs earlier than you normally would, since your car will need a longer distance to come to a stop.
- Use winter tires — Ideally, you should make sure that your vehicle is equipped with winter or snow tires; never drive with summer tires in the winter. Having an all-wheel drive vehicle can also help you maintain control, but should not be a substitute for slower and more careful driving.
- Know how to recover from a skid — The best way to try to recover from a skid involves turning slightly into the skid, slowly lifting off the acceleration pedal, and only slowly depressing the brake pedal if necessary. Jerking the wheel in the opposite direction of a skid or slamming on the brakes will only increase the chance that you continue to skid or potentially even worsen your skid
- Use your lights — New Jersey law requires you to use your vehicle’s during precipitation such as snow, which can help you remain visible to other motorists and pedestrians.
What Not to Do When Driving in the Snow
Tips for behavior to avoid when driving in winter weather include:
- Never slam on the brakes — Slamming on your brakes can cause your tires to lock up. If there is snow and ice on the road, you can easily lose control of your vehicle if your wheels lock up. If you need to slow down in an emergency, including in a skid, you should slowly pump your brakes while steering into a skid if your vehicle has a standard brake system, or apply slow and steady pressure to your brake pedal if your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes.
- Don’t use all-wheel drive as a substitute for careful driving — Although you might think that all-wheel drive will give your vehicle the traction to allow you to drive as you normally would in clear conditions, you’d be wrong. While all-wheel drive can help you control your vehicle in snow and ice conditions (though not as much as a good set of winter tires can), you should still remember to drive slowly and carefully on slippery road conditions.
- Avoid accelerating on hills — Trying to accelerate hard up hills covered in snow and ice can cause you to spin out. The better approach would be to build momentum as you approach a hill and allow that momentum to carry you over without needing to apply additional acceleration
- Avoid stopping on hills –– If you stop on a hill road covered in snow and ice, you may not be able to get moving again. In fact, if the road surface is slippery enough and the incline steep enough, you may end up sliding back down the hill.
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Karim Arzadi Law Offices represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Linden, Newark, South Amboy, Jersey City and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, and Trenton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.