Most people who live in New Jersey can handle driving in a little bit of rain, snow, or when the roads are slightly icy. And while these conditions are not ideal, residents learn to live with them as they’re all a part of living in the Garden State. But there are certain conditions in which people should never drive, no matter how good a driver they are.
So when is it best to just stay home instead of heading out onto the roads?
People living in New Jersey today weren’t around for the Great Blizzard of 1888, but they’ve definitely heard about it. This storm didn’t just bring over two feet of snow; it brought freezing winds and some of the iciest conditions the state has ever seen. It’s estimated that about 200 people died from freezing to death, which makes this powerful storm the best example of when people shouldn’t try to leave shelter, even to run out for supplies such as food.
Some people think heading out in a snowstorm isn’t that dangerous, particularly when it’s just started or they don’t have far to go. But the Great Blizzard showed how quickly the cold can catch you.
Not only do people crash their vehicles when the roads are incredibly slippery, but the conditions make it very hard to survive if your car breaks down. When a brutal snowstorm is on its way, it’s important to stock up on food and other emergency supplies before the storm hits, and ride it out at home, not in your car.
More recently, who could forget when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012? This storm ripped apart the Jersey Shore, as well as a number of close towns nearby. While images of the destroyed Shore will be etched forever in the minds of many, Sandy also did a great deal of damage inland. Over two million homes across the state lost power and 37 people were killed both during the storm and during the flooding afterward.
It also highlights why people should never drive through a flooded area.
Dangerous life-or-death situations happen when a driver hits a deep puddle and spins off the road; or encounters a flooded area, stalls, and become stuck as the water continues to rise; or gets carried off completely by swiftly moving water. Drivers and their passengers can get trapped inside their vehicle and drown, or drown while trying to exit.
There is often a lot of fog in New Jersey, particularly in the summer when the land is warm but the water from the ocean is cold. In summer of 2015, there was so much fog at the Jersey Shore that residents reported it looking like a “fog tsunami.”
Fog can reduce drivers’ visibility to zero. When driving in fog, car accidents are all too common. When fog is so bad that it makes it difficult to see at least two car lengths ahead, drivers should wait until the fog clears before heading out on the roads. Since fog can descend suddenly, pull over to the side and wait it out if these conditions arise. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have been in a winter-weather car accident, contact us here at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., at (609) 240-0040. We are New Jersey personal injury attorneys and have handled many car accident cases successfully. If you’ve been in an accident, there may be compensation available and we will work hard to help you get it.