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Six tips for a safe driving season this winter

With the holiday season upon us, winter has arrived once again in New Jersey. Although this is a time of year to celebrate the season with family, the weather may make it more difficult for driving. Snow, slush and ice can make the roads more hazardous and difficult to maneuver on, making travel more dangerous. However, if you take the proper safety precautions, you can minimize your chances of being involved in a car accident.

Slow down: Speed limits are calculated for ideal weather conditions, which are often not present during winter. Slowing down will help you avoid skids and allow you to stop your vehicle in time. To ensure that you arrive at your destination on time, leave earlier than you normally would.

Clean off your vehicle: Removing snow and ice from your vehicle before driving is not just an important safety measure; it is the law. In New Jersey motorists that fail to do so can face fines.

Check your tires: In winter driving, good traction can make all the difference when encountering snow and ice on the roads. If possible, switch to snow tires for better traction on slippery surfaces.

Avoid tailgating: In wintery conditions, following another vehicle too closely can almost guarantee a rear-end collision. To leave plenty of room for stopping, experts recommend giving the car ahead of you three times the distance you normally would.

Know how to handle a skid: If your car begins skidding, take your foot off the accelerator. If it continues to skid, turn your vehicle in the direction of the skid (the direction where the rear of your vehicle is heading). Apply steady pressure to your brakes, if you have anti-lock brakes. Otherwise, pump the breaks to prevent them from locking up.

Be prepared: In case of emergency, carry a safety kit that includes: an ice scraper, jumper cables, blanket, sand or kitty litter for traction, flashlight and shovel. It is also vital to frequently check to ensure that your windshield wiper fluid (containing antifreeze) levels are regularly topped off. To ensure that your windshield remains clean, check your wiper blades for wear and replace if needed.

If injured in an accident, get legal help

Unfortunately, taking precautions is no guarantee of an accident-free winter, especially if other drivers fail to do the same. However, the law requires all drivers to take into account the weather conditions and take reasonable steps to prevent accidents.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident this winter, the negligence of the other driver may be to blame. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman can investigate the causes of your accident. If negligence was a factor, our attorneys can help you recover damages for your medical bills, loss of wages and other losses caused by the other driver's carelessness.

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