New Jersey’s mercurial weather can pose formidable challenges for motorists, making safety on the road an utmost priority. Whether you are facing rain, snow, fog or ice, understanding how to adapt to these conditions is important.
Before embarking on your journey, stay informed about the weather and road conditions. If conditions are particularly severe, contemplate delaying your trip to ensure safety or keep the duration of your outing as brief as possible.
When the skies open up and rain starts pouring, reduced visibility and slippery roads become the norm. Slowing down and maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you is necessary. The increased stopping distance helps quite a bit on perilously wet roads.
Regardless of the time of day, always use your headlights. This not only helps you see better but also ensures that other drivers can see you. Furthermore, steer clear of large puddles, which may conceal hidden dangers such as potholes or debris.
Fog can be particularly insidious due to the severely reduced visibility it causes. If your vehicle has fog lights, activate them to enhance visibility. Avoid using high beams as they can reflect off the fog and worsen visibility.
Due to the limited visibility in dense fog, it is prudent to increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front. Ensure your windshield and windows remain clear by using the defroster and windshield wipers.
Snow and ice
Certain regions of New Jersey, such as the Highlands, can receive nearly 50 inches of snow per year. It is possible for more than 10 inches of snow to fall during just one storm.
Safely navigating snowy and icy roads begins even before you step into your vehicle. Take care to remove all snow and ice from your car, including windows, mirrors and lights, to maximize visibility. Enhance your vehicle’s traction on slippery surfaces by considering the use of snow tires.
Reduce your speed and adopt gentle acceleration and braking techniques to prevent skidding. Always leave ample space between your vehicle and others on the thoroughfare.
To navigate icy hazards safely, lower your speed to a level that allows you to maintain control of your vehicle. Gently apply pressure to the brakes to avoid skidding. If skidding does occur, steer in the desired direction to regain control.