We all prefer to drive on a clear, sunny day.
However, that’s not always the case.
In New Jersey, you will have to drive through all kinds of road conditions.
And we’re here to prepare you for that.
Today, we’ll give you safe driving tips during these common New Jersey road conditions:
- Driving on wet roads
- Driving on snow and ice
- Driving with reduced visibility
- Driving at night
- Driving through a city
- Driving on a highway
- Driving with road hazards
- Driving in work zones
So shall we?
How to Drive Safely on Wet Roads
When you’re driving on wet roads, your main concern should be to avoid skidding or losing control.
Here are some tips you can follow to avoid hydroplaning:
- Slow down. Speeding up is one of the biggest causes of skidding or losing control.
- Always check your tires before going out. Make sure they are in good condition and not over/under pressure.
- Test your brakes. They should be working well so you can slow down when you need to.
- Make turns gradually. Do not suddenly steer your car in a different direction.
- If there are heavy rains and puddles, try to drive to the highest point of the road. This will reduce the water that gets to your tires.
- According to New Jersey law, you need to turn on your headlights if your windshield wipers are being used.
How to Drive Safely on Snow and Ice
If driving on snow and ice, it’s a good idea to follow the same safety tips when driving on wet roads.
On top of that, you should also follow these tips:
- For heavy snowfall or thick snow on the road, switch to winter tires. Winter tires are better at keeping traction.
- Place an emergency kit in your car. A shovel, ice pick, some towels, a flashlight, and a first aid kit are always helpful to have around during these seasons.
- Warm your engine before going out.
- Remove snow or water on all parts of your car.
- Avoid driving over black ice. That said, black ice is hard to spot. So as a rule of thumb, assume that you’re always driving on very slippery roads.
- Do not brake suddenly. Doing this may let your car slip and lose control.
How to Drive Safely with Reduced Visibility
Different road conditions reduce visibility. This includes frost, fog, or sun glare.
As a general rule, if visibility is too low, do not attempt to drive all the way. Find a place where you can park safely without getting hit by other cars and wait for the surroundings to clear.
Now let’s look at some specific tips for driving through frost, fog, and sun glare.
- When there’s frost, always remove any moisture or fog that builds up on your windshield, windows, and side mirrors.
- Turn on the defroster inside your car.
- Increase your distance with the car in front to 6 seconds.
- Turn on your low-beam headlights or fog lights. Do not turn on your high-beam headlights because the cars in front will find it difficult to see.
- Look at pavement markings to guide you.
- If you know you’ll be traveling in a place with thick fog, install fog lights.
- Adjust your sun visors to avoid letting the glare hit your eyes.
- Look at road pavements to check if you’re still in your lane.
How to Drive Safely at Night
Even if you’re so used to driving at night, there’s no denying that it’s harder than driving during the day.
Visibility is reduced, lights cause glare, and your eyes need to adjust to the darkness.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are some safety tips to follow:
- Drive with your headlights on when it’s dusk, night, or even dawn. If the day is darker than usual, turn on your headlights too.
- Look for glowing warning signs to help you prepare for what’s ahead.
- Never drive if you’re feeling drowsy. Crashes from drowsy driving are a very serious issue.
- Never drive after drinking. Even if it’s very late at night and there are few vehicles on the road, you might just crash into something else.
How to Drive Safely in the City
Driving in the city has its own challenges. Road conditions here usually have a lot of pedestrians crossing and different vehicles on the road.
So here are some tips when driving in the city or on main roadways:
- Always follow traffic lights. If the light is yellow and you haven’t entered the intersection, do not speed up and beat the light.
- Look far ahead so you can anticipate what can happen on the road. This can be a person crossing the street or a vehicle entering from a side road.
- Even if the light is green, always glance at your sides to make sure it’s safe to cross the intersection.
- Never block crosswalks.
- Always give way to pedestrians.
- Lookout for mopeds, bicycles, scooters, or any motorized mobility-assistance vehicles that will join the roadway. Give them space and follow the right of way.
How to Drive Safely on the Highway
Unlike the city’s busy streets, the highway is often wider and faster.
If you’re driving on the highway, always remember these things:
- Stay alert even if there are no motorists near you.
- Look out for traffic signals or signs that tell you of potential hazards or merging roads.
- Always drive within the speed limit.
How to Drive Safely with Road Hazards
Road conditions get more complicated if there are hazards.
So if you see a warning sign or potential hazard ahead, you should:
- Slow down and be more alert to your surroundings. Keep your eyes peeled for anything that can cause an accident.
- Give space to vehicles ahead. Avoid passing and speeding past them.
- If you are in a place where animals regularly cross, slow down to allow yourself to stop if an animal crosses.
How to Drive Safely in Work Zones
If you end up near or driving through a work zone, follow these tips:
- Lookout for work zone signs, flaggers, and barriers. They are there to manage the flow of traffic.
- If you can avoid a work zone, do so. But if there are no other alternative routes, pass by slowly and leave some distance between you and the barricade.
- Turn on your headlights so that workers and other motorists can see you.
- Do not tailgate.
- Avoid distractions. Always focus on the road so you can see the workers and barricades.
And that concludes your guide on how to drive safely through different New Jersey road conditions.
Sure, road conditions can be anywhere from wet and icy roads and reduced visibility to city traffic and road hazards.
If you ever find yourself driving through these conditions, then it’s best to follow the safety tips mentioned here.
If you do, then you’ll be a safe and responsible driver.
And who doesn’t want to be that?