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Tips for driving during winter in New Jersey

There’s nothing quite like a New Jersey winter – and Jersey residents know that a sudden winter storm can make every part of the day a lot more complicated.

That’s especially true when you have to make a commute every day for work or school – or even to make sure the household errands get done. You know that not everybody is a good winter driver – but what can you do to stay safer? Here are some tips:

Make sure your car is in good operating condition.

You always want to make sure your vehicle’s battery and fluid levels are in good shape in the winter, so you can avoid breakdowns and severe injuries. More critical to your safety, however, are the following:

  • ● Wiper blades: If your windshield wipers are loose, worn out or simply not performing their best, your range of vision as you drive can be affected.
  • ● Lights: The low visibility caused by winter weather makes vehicles hard to see, so you need your headlights, taillights and turn signals to all be in good working order.
  • ● Tire treads: If your tread is getting thin, you won’t have enough purchase on a slick road.

Clean off your car before you go anywhere

It’s tempting just to scrape a hole in the snow on your windshield when you just need to go around the corner and back, but it’s actually illegal to drive that way. If you don’t remove all the ice and snow from your vehicle’s hood, roof and windows, you face significant traffic fines.

Keep your distance and take it slow

Finally, there are some basic pieces of advice that bear repeating: When the roads are icy or snow is falling, take it slow. Give yourself extra time to get to destinations and resign yourself to going well below the speed limit. Slow down when you’re on exit ramps, and remember to take your foot off the pedals entirely if you start to skid out.

Also, give other drivers plenty of extra room – especially snow plows and other commercial vehicles. You don’t want to risk being in their way if they lose control on the ice.

Despite your best efforts, accidents will still happen. If you’re hurt in a wreck caused by another driver’s mistake, you do have legal options.