Staying Safe on the Road in Bad Weather
Weather is one of mother nature’s most unpredictable forces. This year alone saw days of 80-degree heat followed by a snowstorm that swept across the country.
New Jersey seems to be one of those states that experience each and every type of weather condition throughout a year’s time. And with its unpredictability, you never really know when you might end up stuck on the road in bad weather.
With automobile accidents already a common occurrence, it is important for you to know how to stay safe on the road, especially in bad weather. The following tips are the best way to avoid accidents no matter the time of year or the weather.
Seat Belt Seat Belt Seat Belt
You might be shaking your head wondering if this really needs to be included, but the sad truth is that a lot of people who end up injured in car accidents were not wearing their seatbelt at the time. Simply buckling up is an easy way to avoid injury and accidents in bad weather.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of death by 45 percent. Sounds like a pretty good trade-off.
Get a Tuneup
Making sure all aspects of your vehicle are in proper working order will go a long way in keeping you and your passengers safe on the road in bad weather. This means getting a tuneup regularly and checking things like your car battery, fuel and emission filters, windshield wipers, and tires.
You would be surprised at how many accidents could be avoided if motorists had made sure their tires were still good for the road. Old or balding tires do not grip the road as well as new or well-kept tires, increasing your chances of an accident. Mix in bad weather like rain, sleet, ice or snow and you might be unable to even stop your car once you get moving.
Use Headlights and Blinkers
New Jersey has a rule that if your windshield wipers are on then your headlights should also be on. In bad weather visibility decreases, making it difficult for you to see as well as for other motorists to see you. Turning on your headlights will help you see the road and any other hazards and make you more visible to other motorists behind the wheel.
When it comes to your blinkers or indicators, it should go without saying that it is important to use them regardless of weather conditions, but especially paramount in bad weather. Your turn signals let other drivers know your intentions on the road, whether it is making a turn or changing lanes.
This gives them ample time to adjust and slow down in accordance with your actions. Bad weather increases stopping distance and if other motorists are not prepared to slow down as you turn without your blinkers, you could be held liable if there is a crash.
One of the best tips you should heed if driving in bad weather is to drive slow. There is no rush. As mentioned earlier, bad weather decreases visibility and increases stopping distance. If you choose to travel too fast you will not be able to adjust to hazards on the road.
In wet conditions, traveling too fast can lead you to hydroplane, which is when your car begins sliding on the water. Slamming on the brakes would only make the situation worse as your vehicle has no grip on the road surface.
In bad weather, if you have to stop abruptly, it is better to pump the brakes slowly to avoid spinning out. Slamming on the brakes would only engage your vehicle in a slide that you might not be able to recover from.
Atlantic City Car Accident Attorney Can Help
As statistics have proven, car accidents can happen no matter how careful you are on the road. If you or a loved one end up in a car accident then you should consult an experienced car accident and personal injury attorney.
In New Jersey, The Law Firm of Christopher A. Brown can help you with your claims. Their attorneys have extensive legal experience and keep their clients’ interests as the number one priority. They will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
To set up a free consultation, contact the firm today at 609-336-4144.
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.