you for visiting the Division of Highway Traffic
Safety’s website. Charged with ensuring
the safety of all who use our roadways, the
Division sponsors public education and awareness
campaigns, as well as law enforcement initiatives
that address an array of traffic safety issues.
the winter season upon us, preparing yourself
and your vehicle for the challenges of safely
driving in snow, ice, and sleet is essential.
Each year in New Jersey, more than 75,000 crashes
occur on snow or ice covered roads, resulting
in an average of 10 lives lost and nearly 20,000
of the easiest – but perhaps, most important
– ways to ensure everyone stays safe on
the roads is to remove all snow and ice from
your vehicle before driving. It’s particularly
important to clear the hood, windows and roof
before getting behind the wheel. Under current
state law, motorists who fail to remove ice
and snow from their vehicles and cause property
damage or injury to others can be cited and
fined $200 to as much as $1,000 per offense.
In addition, on October 19, 2009, legislation
was signed into law amending the current statute;
drivers of all vehicles (commercial and passenger)
operated on any roadway in the state are required
to make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated
snow and ice from all exposed surfaces prior
to operation. While the change goes into effect
on October 20, 2010, we encourage you to be
pro-active and clear your vehicle of all winter
debris before taking to the road.
addition to making sure that all ice and snow
is removed from your vehicle, you should also
modify your driving behavior based on the current
weather conditions. While it’s always
safest to stay off the road in inclement weather,
if you must travel, the following tips will
help ensure that you arrive at your destination
Drive slow (at or below the posted speed limit)
and adjust your speed for the changing road
on your headlights, using low beams when traveling
Try to stay on main roads, if possible. On
multi-lane roads, stay in the lane that has
been recently cleared.
Remain calm behind the wheel. Nervous, sudden
movements and quick turns, lane changes or
abrupt speed changes can cause skidding.
If you skid, don’t brake and don’t
accelerate. Remove your foot from the gas,
and gently steer your car in the direction
of the skid (the direction the rear of your
vehicle is sliding.) When your car starts
heading in the desired direction, carefully
straighten the wheel.
Increase your following distance. In winter
weather, travel at least eight to 10 seconds
behind the car in front of you.
of “black ice.” It often appears
to be water, but it’s ice.
Division has developed a palm card reminding
motorists to remove ice and snow from their
vehicle. Distributed to police departments,
AAA offices and other traffic safety agencies,
the card also offers winter driving safety tips,
and can be downloaded from our web site, at
further ensure your driving safety during the
cold weather months, it’s important to
keep your vehicle properly maintained.
Tune-up and winterize your vehicle, and check
antifreeze and fluid levels in the radiator
Check tire treads. More tread equals more
Check the windshield, washer fluids and wiper
blades, making sure they’re clean and
in good working condition.
Maintain at least half a tank of gas, to prevent
the fuel line from freezing-up.
your vehicle with an easily accessible “winter
driving safety kit” is also a must. The
kit should include: an ice scraper/brush; shovel;
jumper cables or battery starter; warm blanket;
sand, salt or cat litter (for traction in ice
and snow); lock de-icer; safety flares/warning
devices; flashlight and new batteries; extra
windshield washer fluid; cell phone with a charged
spare battery; water and non-perishable food
(i.e. granola or protein bars) and, paper towels
or a cloth.
We hope you find this information helpful as
you travel around the state this winter. The
Division’s web site has a wealth of information
on a wide array of traffic safety issues. Be
sure to visit our site often since new information
is added regularly, and feel free to download
the educational materials. Enjoy the winter,
stay safe, both on and off the road, and always
remember to buckle-up, everyone, every ride,
regardless of your seating position in the vehicle.