Mar 242014
 

Last Thursday was the first day of spring, and many residents in New Jersey are happy that winter is officially over.  This winter has wreaked havoc on New Jersey roadways and highways with multiple serious car, truck and bus accidents and pile-ups.

Related: Wintry Mix and Icy Conditions Cause More Auto Accidents in New Jersey

In fact, the New Jersey State Police said that the number of accidents is much higher this winter than last winter.  Between November 2013 to February 2014, there have been 17, 282 accidents, compared to 14,985 in the same period last year.  In addition, calls to the police for aid also increased this winter from 29,721 calls last year compared to 37,168 calls this winter.  *Source: www.nj1015.com (Accidents on NJ Roadways Way Up)

Snow, precipitation, ice and freezing roads all have had a hand in contributing to the auto accidents this winter.  However, according to the New Jersey State Police, drivers have also been the cause of the accidents this winter.  With slick road conditions, many drivers were following too closely to the cars or trucks in front of them and not leaving enough room between the vehicles.  As a result, many vehicles were rear-ended because the drivers behind were following too closely on the slick roads and could not stop in time.

According to the New Jersey Driver Manual, the rule of thumb is for drivers to keep one car length back from the car in front of them.  Since most people have trouble judging distance, drivers can also use the three-seconds-plus rule to determine a safe distance.  Drivers can pick an object like a tree or a street sign on the street.  As the car or truck in front passes the object, the driver would start counting.  If it takes at least three seconds for the driver to pass the object, then there should be enough distance for the driver to stop if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.  The distance should be increased depending on the weather conditions.  Below is a chart provided by the New Jersey Driver Manual indicating how much distance should be between vehicles depending on the road conditions and driving speed.

Road Condition

20mph

30mph

40mph

50mph

Ideal

2 car lengths

3 car lengths

4 car lengths

5 car lengths

Wet Pavement

4 car lengths

6 car lengths

8 car lengths

10 car lengths

Gravel

4 car lengths

6 car lengths

8 car lengths

10 car lengths

Packed snow

6 car lengths

9 car lengths

12 car lengths

Ice

12 car lengths

18 car lengths

Drivers Face New Jersey Car Accident Lawsuits for Causing Rear-End Accidents

Drivers who rear-end other vehicles and cause injuries to other drivers and passengers may be liable for the accidents and injuries sustained by the victims.  The fact that roads are slick and slippery does not let the drivers who caused the accidents off the hook.  Even in treacherous road conditions, drivers can still be liable for accidents they cause, especially if they were speeding and/or following too closely.  Negligent drivers may be cited by the police and may also be sued in a NJ car accident lawsuit.  Victims (plaintiffs) in the lawsuit may sue to recover the following damages:

  • pain and suffering,
  • lost wages, and/or
  • medical expenses.

Related: How to Win a New Jersey Car Accident Lawsuit

If you were in a NJ car accident this winter and would like to discuss your legal right to financial recovery, feel free to call Philip T. Ciprietti, Esq. to discuss your case.  Mr. Ciprietti has been representing injured victims for over 35 years in New Jersey. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation. 800-281-8695