How Accidents Happen | Strategies for Avoiding Winter Weather Crashes
If you’ve ever driven in New Jersey in the winter months, you know it can sometimes be a daunting task, particularly if there’s been a recent snow or, worse yet, freezing rain. According to the Federal Highway Administration, about one in every four weather-related accidents occurs in winter. Statistics show that winter weather accidents typically are caused by one of three factors:
- Poor visibility—Sometimes, it’s simply the fact that it’s snowing that impairs driver visibility. It doesn’t have to be a whiteout, either. Heavy snow with even light winds can cause a swirling effect that makes it difficult to see other motorists or even the location of the road. Of course, visibility also can be limited if a driver fails to properly remove accumulated snow from his or her car. Many drivers clean the windows, but fail to remove snow from the hood or top of the car, leading to limited visibility when the car travels down the road.
- Poor traction—The accumulation of snow or ice can make it difficult to negotiate a turn or bring the vehicle to a stop.
- Poor vehicle maintenance—The failure to keep your vehicle in proper condition also can increase the risk of an accident. If your tires lack good tread, your heater or defrost aren’t working properly, your windshield wipers are defective, or your brakes don’t work well, the winter weather likely will put you at greater risk of a crash.
Strategies for Avoiding Winter Weather Accidents
There are specific measures you can take to reduce the chances of a motor-vehicle mishap this winter:
- Put snow tires on your car.
- Increase the distance between you and the car in front of you, thereby giving yourself more room to stop.
- Lower your speed.
- Use your vehicle’s low gear.
- Practice handling a skid. Go to an empty parking lot and practice coming out of a skid, so that you know what to do when it actually happens.
Contact Attorney Howard N. Sobel
At the office of Howard N. Sobel, we provide comprehensive personal injury representation to individuals throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our office online, or call us at 856-424-6400 to see if you qualify for a free initial consultation (on selected cases). Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We accept all major credit cards.
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