As winter approaches in New Jersey, a significant increase in driving hazards is approaching with it. Preparing for these conditions can be the key to avoiding the unfortunate spike in winter crashes that can occur in the Garden State.
As a result, before the first snowfall hits, you’re going to want to ensure that your vehicle is winter-ready. This includes checking your car’s battery, as cold weather can diminish its power. Ensure that your tires have adequate tread for snow and ice; consider switching to winter tires for better traction. Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and fill up on winter-grade windshield washer fluid. Don’t forget to check your heating system – not only for comfort but also to ensure your windshield defrosters are working efficiently.
Once winter hits
To drive safely once winter hits, you’re going to need to stay informed about the weather. New Jersey winters can be unpredictable, and conditions can deteriorate rapidly. Before you travel, check the weather and plan your route accordingly. If severe weather is forecast, consider whether your journey is essential or if it can wait.
When you’re on the road, adjust your driving to suit the conditions. Reduce your speed – remember, speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. Increase your following distance to allow for longer stopping distances on icy roads. Be particularly cautious on bridges and overpasses, as they freeze first. If you find yourself skidding, stay calm. Ease off the accelerator and steer gently in the direction you want to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes as this can worsen the skid.
Finally, keep in mind that because accidents can occur despite your best efforts, you’ll always want to let someone know your route and expected arrival time, especially if you’re traveling a long distance. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and wait for help. If you’re injured in a wreck, it may also be wise to get legal guidance.