Winter Driving in New Jersey: Being Prepared for Bad Weather

Legal Assistance for Victims of New Jersey’s Wintery Roads

As we approach the coldest months of winter, drivers throughout New Jersey are bracing for the major weather events that we have come to expect each year. But, while major snowstorms certainly have the greatest impact on our roads, they are by no means the only weather-related issues that can lead to dangerous accidents and serious injuries. From overnight icing to early morning frost, drivers in the Garden State must be particularly careful during the winter months to avoid being responsible for weather-related collisions.

Indeed, for New Jersey residents who know how to drive in bad weather, winter weather is not the issue as much as other drivers who do not respond to the change in road conditions appropriately. The following are all common winter weather driving mistakes that can result in serious, and sometimes fatal, accidents:

Five Common Winter Weather Driving Mistakes

1. Driving Too Fast for the Conditions.

While speeding is always dangerous, it can be especially dangerous when the road is slippery or covered in snow. In winter weather conditions, driving safely often means driving well under the posted speed limit.

2. Following Too Closely.

Following too closely (or “tailgating”) becomes even more dangerous in winter weather conditions, as well. Since it is both more difficult to stop and more difficult to see and anticipate road conditions ahead, tailgating in snowy or icy weather frequently leads to rear-end collisions that could – and should – have been avoided.

3. Braking Suddenly and Steering Sharply.

On slick and slippery road surfaces, drivers must be careful to avoid sudden inputs that can lead to loss of traction. This includes both harsh braking and sharp steering. In bad weather, drivers should maintain safe following distances and approach all intersections with caution. On slick road surfaces, slamming on the brakes is more likely to lead to a skid, and turning too sharply will generally be ineffective.

4. Failing to Prepare for Winter Conditions.

On icy and snowy roads, faulty brakes, worn tires, and other maintenance issues present enhanced dangers for a poorly maintained vehicle’s owner, and other drivers around them. Before driving in hazardous weather conditions, it is important for all drivers to make sure that their vehicles are up to the task.

5. Not Removing Snow from the Roof.

When scraping the windshield and brushing newly fallen snow from a vehicle, it is essential to remove all of the snow. Too often, drivers only clear their windows, ignoring the heavy and potentially hazardous piles of snow on their roofs. When this snow gets blown off on the road, it can create white-out conditions and slick patches for drivers behind them.

Injured in NJ? Call for a Free Consultation

Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. is a personal injury law firm that represents auto accident victims throughout New Jersey. If you get injured in a weather-related accident and believe that a negligent driver may be to blame, we encourage you to contact our Hackensack personal injury lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. To find out if you may be entitled to financial recovery, call (201) 928-0300 or tell us about the accident online today.