‘Tis the season for snowy skies, snowy roads, and snowy cars! Winter weather is beautiful but can also be a bit of a drag, especially when it slows you down or — even worse — causes an auto accident.
Here at The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we want to make sure all the drivers in our community stay safe on the roads this year. That’s why we’ve put together the following list of winter driving tips, including a few you probably didn’t know about!
Did You Know?: Windshield Snow Removal Required by Law
Removing the ice and snow from your windshield isn’t just a good idea — it’s the law.
In New Jersey, drivers who operate a vehicle without first removing all its ice and snow can face fines of $25 to $75 per offense. The fine applies even if the snow never becomes dislodged from the car!
If the ice or snow does fall off your vehicle and causes either property damage or personal injury, you could face an additional fine of $200 to $1,000 per incident, not to mention your liability for the victim’s damages.
Remember to inspect your vehicle carefully before heading out on the highway. Snow and ice tend to build up on the windshield, windows, roof, and hood.
Other Winter Driving Tips for New Jersey
Keep the following in mind when driving in New Jersey’s wintery weather:
- Drive slowly.
- Increase your following distance to at least ten seconds.
- Keep a first aid and emergency supply kit in your car at all times.
- Store a blanket or very warm clothing in your car.
- Always remain respectful of snowplow drivers.
- Use low-beam headlights while driving in snow.
- Exercise extra care when merging lanes.
- Resist the impulse to accelerate or apply the break when your car begins to skid. Instead, take your foot off the gas and carefully steer in the same direction as the skid. Once your vehicle is facing the right direction again, straighten the wheel and proceed slowly. Dramatic course corrections are a bad idea while skidding.
Remember that winter weather is a common cause of auto accidents in New Jersey, so always approach ice and snow with the care and caution they require. Stay safe out there!