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8 safety tips for driving in wintry weather

Most of us who drive have to do so in every season, as much as we would sometimes rather put life on hold and watch a graceful snowfall, or head out with the kids on a snow day to go sledding, instead of having to schlep to work.

In New Jersey, trying to stay safe on roads covered in ice and snow can be challenging. All drivers should prepare for their adventures before they leave the house. One of the first things that you must do is check the weather to find out what it is going to be like when you head out.

If possible, try to avoid driving when it is very snowy outside. When there is considerable snow or when it is windy while snowing, whiteout conditions and low visibility can occur. If you must drive when the roads aren't clear or the weather isn't nice, be sure to drive safely.

  • Check your tires. You need adequate tread to be able to drive safely. Ideally, you will have snow tires installed.
  • Take your time. Trying to rush is going to cause you to take unnecessary risks.
  • Remember braking takes longer distances. Trying to stop suddenly can lead to skidding or slipping. Take your time braking to minimize this risk.
  • Don't use cruise control since it won't take road conditions into account. It is best if you manually control all aspects of the vehicle.
  • Avoid overestimating 4-wheel drive. This can help as you drive, but it won't do anything to help when it is time to stop.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle. A snow shovel can help you to dig the tail pipe out if you are stuck in snow. Add in nonperishable foods, water, warm clothing and blankets, a flashlight, flares or emergency triangles, and battery cables.
  • Steer into the skid if your vehicle starts to slide. This will help you to regain control of the vehicle faster.
  • Keep your headlights on low when possible. You can see the road, but the light shouldn't reflect off the snow and cause visibility issues for you or other drivers on the road.

Remember, there are times when you might be hit by someone who isn't driving in a safe manner. These crashes can lead to serious injuries that require emergency medical care. You should ensure you are protecting your right to seek compensation. One of the most important things to remember if you are in a wreck is to never admit that you were at fault. Even if you apologize that the accident occurred, someone might think that you are saying you were in the wrong.

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