Call for a Free Consultation


Click to Call | 732-333-8141

Scale Columns

$500+ Million Recovered

For Our Clients

Call Us Today

Driving Safely in New Jersey Winters: Avoiding Personal Injury Claims

Driving Safely in New Jersey Winters: Avoiding Personal Injury Claims

Dangers of Winter Driving in New Jersey

Winter in New Jersey can be a picturesque and magical time of year, but it also brings about some of the most treacherous road conditions. Snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain can turn the state’s roadways into hazardous terrain, increasing the risk of accidents and personal injury claims. At Drazin & Warshaw, we understand the importance of safe winter driving and how negligence on the road can lead to personal injury claims. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the dangers of winter driving in New Jersey and provide safety tips to help you avoid accidents. Additionally, we will explore the legal aspects of negligence in winter driving and explain how a personal injury lawyer can assist both victims and defendants in such cases.

Safety Tips: Recommended Best Practices

When it comes to winter driving, preparation and caution are paramount. To avoid personal injury claims, it’s essential to adopt recommended best practices to ensure your safety on the road. Below are some crucial tips to keep in mind when driving during the winter months in New Jersey:

1. Equip Your Vehicle for Winter

Before winter sets in, ensure your vehicle is well-prepared for the challenges of cold weather. This includes:

  • Winter Tires: Consider investing in winter tires that offer better traction on snow and ice. All-season tires may not be sufficient for New Jersey’s harsh winters.
  • Check Your Battery: Cold weather can be harsh on your vehicle’s battery. Make sure it’s in good condition and replace it if necessary.
  • Antifreeze and Windshield Washer Fluid: Ensure your vehicle’s antifreeze is topped up, and use windshield washer fluid rated for low temperatures to prevent freezing on your windshield.
  • Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your car, including items like a flashlight, blankets, a first-aid kit, and non-perishable snacks.

2. Reduce Your Speed

Driving at a reduced speed is critical in winter conditions. Even if the speed limit is higher, you should adjust your driving speed to match the road conditions. Slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow for more reaction time.

3. Be Cautious on Icy Roads

Icy roads are a common sight during New Jersey winters. To navigate them safely:

  • Avoid Sudden Movements: Don’t make abrupt turns or stops. Slowly and gently apply the brakes and steer to maintain control.
  • Increase Following Distance: Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. In icy conditions, it may take longer to stop, and you need space to react.
  • Bridges and Overpasses: Be especially cautious when driving over bridges and overpasses, as they tend to freeze first due to their exposure to cold air on all sides.

4. Clear Snow and Ice from Your Vehicle

Before hitting the road, ensure your car is completely clear of snow and ice. This includes your windows, mirrors, lights, and roof. Snow and ice on the roof can slide onto your windshield or the vehicles behind you, creating dangerous situations.

5. Use Your Headlights

Visibility can be significantly reduced during winter weather, so keep your headlights on even during daylight hours. This helps other drivers see you more easily and reduces the risk of accidents.

6. Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is dangerous at any time of year, but it becomes even riskier in winter conditions. Keep your attention on the road, and avoid using your phone or other distractions while driving.

7. Know When to Stay Home

In particularly severe winter conditions, it may be best to stay home if possible. If you don’t need to be on the road, avoiding unnecessary travel can be the safest choice.

Legal Aspects: How Negligence is Determined

Despite taking all the necessary precautions, accidents can still occur during the winter months. In such cases, understanding the legal aspects of negligence and personal injury claims is crucial. Negligence, in the context of a personal injury claim related to winter driving, refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care on the road, leading to an accident and subsequent injuries. Here are some key factors involved in determining negligence:

1. Duty of Care

Drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and caution, especially in adverse weather conditions. This duty extends to taking appropriate actions to avoid accidents and prevent harm to others on the road.

2. Breach of Duty

A breach of the duty of care occurs when a driver fails to act reasonably and responsibly in winter driving conditions. This breach may include speeding, following too closely, or failing to adapt to the road’s condition.

3. Causation

To establish negligence, it must be proven that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident and subsequent injuries. Causation is a critical element in personal injury claims.

4. Damages

In order to pursue a personal injury claim, the victim must demonstrate that they suffered damages as a result of the accident. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

5. Comparative Negligence

New Jersey follows a comparative negligence system, meaning that in cases where both parties share some degree of fault, the court will determine each party’s percentage of responsibility. This could impact the amount of compensation awarded.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help: If You’re a Victim or a Defendant

If you’ve been involved in a winter driving accident in New Jersey, whether as a victim or a defendant, seeking legal counsel is essential to protect your rights and navigate the complex legal process. Here’s how a personal injury lawyer from Drazin & Warshaw can assist you:

If You’re a Victim:

  • Case Evaluation: An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case and determine the strength of your claim. They will assess the evidence, witness statements, and other factors to establish negligence.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Your lawyer will handle all communications with insurance companies, ensuring that you’re not pressured into accepting a low settlement offer.
  • Litigation Support: In the event that a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to court and represent you in front of a judge and jury.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Your attorney will work diligently to maximize your compensation by accounting for all your damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
  • Emotional Support: Dealing with a personal injury can be emotionally challenging. Your lawyer will provide guidance and support throughout the legal process, helping you focus on your recovery.

If You’re a Defendant:

  • Legal Defense: If you’re facing a personal injury claim due to a winter driving accident, your attorney will provide a strong legal defense, helping to establish whether you were truly negligent and the extent of your liability.
  • Negotiation Skills: Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to seek a fair resolution to the claim, potentially saving you time and money in the long run.
  • Court Representation: In the event that the case goes to court, your attorney will defend your interests vigorously and present a strong case on your behalf.
  • Mitigating Damages: Your lawyer will work to minimize the damages awarded to the plaintiff, especially if comparative negligence is a factor in the case.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer At Drazin & Warshaw for a Free Consultation About Your Case Today

Winter driving in New Jersey can be perilous, with accidents often leading to personal injury claims. To protect yourself and others on the road, it’s essential to follow the recommended safety tips, exercise due caution, and be prepared for the challenges that winter weather can bring. In cases where accidents occur, understanding the legal aspects of negligence is crucial.

If you’ve been involved in a winter driving accident and need assistance as a victim or a defendant, our team at Drazin & Warshaw is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to navigate personal injury claims related to winter driving accidents, and we’re committed to securing the best possible outcome for our clients.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a case evaluation. Our knowledgeable attorneys can assess your situation, answer your questions, and provide guidance on your legal options. Your well-being and your rights are our top priority. Stay safe on the roads this winter, and remember that we are here to support you in your time of need. Contact Drazin & Warshaw today for a confidential consultation and put an experienced advocate on your side.

schedule a free consultation today

5 stars

“The attention and service from Drazin & Warshaw was phenomenal from day one. They are truly passionate about their work and the client”.

- Greg A.

more client reviews

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances


New Jersey

super lawyers

Award Background


certified civil

trial attorneys

Award Background


years of

winning cases

Award Background


njaj past


Award Background
More About Us