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Caution: Winter, just ahead!

While you're enjoying the beautiful fall foliage New Jersey typically has to offer, you may also be thinking ahead to the coming months, specifically, freezing temperatures and slush, snow and ice on the roads where you drive. Perhaps you have already gone through your checklist to make sure you have jumper cables, ice scrapers and flares in your car, just in case you are stranded in the dead of winter. Another thing you might want to think about as far as winter road safety is concerned is rock salt.

Many New Jersey motorists carry rock salt in their trunks. Hopefully, the roadways you regularly navigate to get to work, school or to run errands around town are well maintained by the state. If you happen to live in a more rural area, this may not be the case. Taking as many precautions as you can ahead of time and knowing where to turn for help if an accident occurs puts you one step ahead in your winter driving game.

Benefits of de-icing

You've likely heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Where winter driving and icy roads are concerned, that is definitely true. The following list explains the many benefits of rock salt on wintry roadways:

  • Surprisingly, studies show that simply salting the roads lowers winter car accident rates by nearly 90 percent!
  • The average cost of car accidents decreases around 85 percent just from de-icing roads with salt.
  • The number of injuries plummets as well, with an injury reduction rate of approximately 85 percent when roads are well salted.

When roads are slippery from ice or made impassable by snow, not only are you at risk for injury, but rescue workers may not be able to reach a particular accident scene when needed. Every year, more than 116,000 people suffer injuries in winter car accidents. Keeping a few extra bags of rock salt in your vehicle may come in handy in a pinch.

What to do if an accident occurs

Even if you are fully equipped to travel during winter in New Jersey, you can't control the skill level of other drivers (or the choices they make behind the wheel). If another vehicle crashes into yours, your winter may become even more challenging if your injuries necessitate a long, arduous recovery. You may also be hit hard with undue financial hardships in the aftermath of a winter car accident. If so, you may consider seeking compensation for damages through the civil justice system.

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