Common Summer Driving Hazards in New Jersey
As summer arrives, so does a new set of driving hazards. In New Jersey, the combination of increased traffic, construction projects and unpredictable weather poses unique challenges for drivers.
Below, we discuss some of the most common summertime hazards drivers should be wary of.
If you were injured in an accident, call our New Jersey car crash lawyers today. We can discuss your claim during a free consultation to determine how we can help. There are also no upfront fees for our services.
New Jersey is a popular summer destination for many. This results in congested highways. During the summertime, rush hour congestion becomes even more pronounced as commuters and tourists share the roads. This congestion increases the likelihood of getting into a car accident.
Driving in heavy traffic can be stressful, but keeping calm and learning to drive defensively is crucial. The following are some driving habits to keep in mind that may help avoid getting into a crash:
- Keep a safe following distance – do not follow other vehicles too closely, and if another driver is tailgating you, it may be a good idea to switch to a slower lane, let the impatient driver pass and then switch back into the fast-moving lane.
- Always use your turn signals – before switching lanes or turning onto another road, you should be sure to indicate to ensure other drivers are aware of your intentions. This helps to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Avoid distractions – stay off your phone and keep your attention on the road and other drivers to try and anticipate as best as possible the actions of a negligent driver.
The warm weather also encourages more people to be out and about. This creates increased foot and bike traffic on the roads. This leads to additional challenges for drivers, including the need for increased vigilance and attentiveness.
Drivers should be mindful of sharing the road, maintaining a safe distance from vulnerable road users and consistently checking their blind spots, as it is often more difficult to spot bicyclists and motorcyclists than it is to see larger vehicles.
Summertime is the peak construction season in New Jersey, leading to an increase in work zones across the state. Driving through these construction zones requires taking additional precautions, including the following:
- Paying attention to warning signs – look for colored construction signs indicating upcoming work on the roadway, lane closures, detours or reduced speed limits.
- Keeping an eye out for flaggers – keep an eye out for construction workers directing traffic and be sure to follow their directions.
- Being mindful of temporary road markers – some construction areas may use traffic cones or barrels to temporarily create new lanes for vehicles to drive through, so it is important to keep an eye out for these markers to not drive over them.
- Obeying construction zone speed limits – there is usually heavy foot traffic in a construction zone as workers pave the road or install pipes on the ground, so it is important to adhere to the speed limitations in construction zones.
Construction zones are sometimes unpredictable due to the workers and the heavy equipment in use. Negligence from these employees could spell disaster for some drivers, which could result in the construction company being held liable for your damages if an accident occurs.
New Jersey experiences frequent thunderstorms and heavy rainfall during the summer months. These weather events can cause the following:
Drivers must exercise caution and adjust their speed to match the road conditions. Failure to do so may result in an accident and these negligent drivers may be held liable for your damages.
There is also an increased danger of flash flooding, especially in low-lying areas. Flooded roadways are extremely dangerous as they can hide hazards like debris or potholes. It is important for drivers to remember to avoid driving through flooded areas and find alternate routes when encountering standing water on the road.
Hailstorms are also possible during the summer, and they can be very unpredictable. This can impact driving conditions, including by causing serious damage to vehicles on the road. If you are caught in a hailstorm while driving, it may be a good idea to find a safe place to pull over and wait out the hailstorm under cover.
Make sure to stay informed about potential weather patterns before hitting the road. Although this may be more difficult due to set schedules, such as for work.
Aggressive drivers pose a hazard on New Jersey roads throughout the year, but their presence becomes more pronounced during the summertime due to various factors. For example, vacationers or tourist stress due to increased traffic on the road. Residents of the Garden State may become frustrated with out-of-towners who do not know an area and drive slowly.
The combination of the summer heat and more traffic also elevates driver aggression which can lead to road rage incidents.
It is important to remember that road rage itself is not technically illegal, but the actions of a driver experiencing road rage, like aggressive tailgating or brake checking, are against the law. Drivers who commit these acts and cause a crash will most likely be held liable for your damages.
During the summer, the combination of long road trips and busy schedules can increase the risk of drowsy driving, which poses a significant hazard on the road. Drowsy driving can impair judgment, reaction time and overall driving performance, making it just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Accidents caused by drowsy drivers can be dangerous, as they generally involve one vehicle drifting into oncoming traffic, which can result in a potentially deadly head-on collision.
Were You Injured in a Summertime Crash? Call Us Today
Summertime driving in New Jersey has its fair share of hazards. Despite taking additional precautions, accidents can still occur.
If you or a loved one were injured in a summertime crash, contact our firm today for legal assistance. Our dedicated team is prepared to provide legal guidance and support to help you recover the compensation you need.
There are no upfront fees for our services. Call 800-518-0508 today.