You may experience plenty of cold, snow and ice during the winter in New Jersey. According to U.S. News and World Report, winter driving conditions contribute to 17% of all vehicle crashes.
Whenever possible, it is preferable to postpone your trip until conditions improve. However, if you must travel under winter weather conditions, here are some things you can do to help prevent accidents and keep yourself safe.
1. Accelerate and brake slowly
Snow, ice and meltwater on the road can make it more slippery. With less traction, you may be more likely to skid when braking, steering or accelerating. Perform each of these as slowly as possible. Give yourself extra time so you can control your speed. Skidding is less likely at lower speeds, and even if you do skid, you may not diverge as far from your chosen path of travel if you are going more slowly.
2. Prepare yourself and your vehicle
You should make sure that your car is ready to drive in cold weather by performing a check-up or having a mechanic do so. Check that the tires and brakes are in good condition and that the antifreeze level is adequate. You should always have a full tank of gas in your vehicle and carry a winter survival kit in case you get stranded and have to shelter in the car until help arrives.
3. Avoid distractions
You should charge your cell phone and bring it with you in the car so you can call for help in case of an emergency. However, you should put your phone away while driving. Avoid any other distractions that could take your mind off the road, such as listening to the radio unless you are getting a weather report.
Even when observing safety tips, driving in winter weather can be unpredictable. Part of the danger is that other drivers may not take the same precautions and run into you.