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Recent blizzard posed hazards to drivers, pedestrians

If you were one of the unlucky Jersey residents who had to drive during the recent blizzard conditions that blanketed the Garden State, you are all too aware of the hazards of winter driving.

But what is particularly dangerous is walking outdoors in white-out or blizzard conditions. This puts pedestrians at much greater risk of being struck and killed by a driver who is struggling to maintain control due to the weather.

Sometimes drivers get stranded on isolated roads or even major interstates during winter storms when chain reaction collisions lead to dozens of crashes. This can shut down interstates for hours or even days.

Scenarios like that can lead motorists and passengers to leave the shelter of their vehicles to try to walk to assistance. Doing so is rarely the safer option, however.

The conventional wisdom is to remain with your vehicle. The exception to this would be if your car wound up stuck in a position where it was highly likely that other vehicles would plow into it, possibly killing or injuring you. If you have no other option but to leave your vehicle, tie a bright scarf, blanket or even a colored plastic bag onto the back of your coat or jacket to make yourself more visible in the blizzard conditions.

Drivers must be especially careful during these white-out conditions to be on the lookout for stranded pedestrians making their way along the streets or highways.

If you wind up injured in an auto-pedestrian accident caused by the driver, you may have a cause of action to file a claim for damages.

Source: AccuWeather, "Photos: Blizzard blasts New England with blinding snow, leaves more than 50,000 without power," Brian Lada, Feb. 09, 2017

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