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Experts urge caution when stopping to help fellow motorists

While it may seem hard to believe, November is officially here, meaning the cold weather conditions our blog spoke of a few weeks back will be here sooner than we'd perhaps prefer. With these colder conditions, of course, comes more challenging driving conditions as precipitation -- rain, sleet or snow -- can make roads slick and greatly increase the odds of a serious car accident.

In fact, law enforcement officials here in New Jersey, and across the United States are now warning people to start minding the weather conditions and adjust their driving accordingly. This includes a reminder to proceed cautiously if acting as a Good Samaritan to a stranded motorist.

To illustrate all that can go wrong in this type of situation, consider a recent tragic car crash in the state of Michigan that left two people dead and another with serious personal injuries.

According to reports, road conditions in western Michigan were wet and slushy last Thursday evening, and caused a 21-year-old man to lose control of his car and strike a guardrail. Shortly thereafter, a 62-year-old man pulled over to offer help.

Sadly, as the pair stood next to the crashed automobile, they were struck by a 26-year-old man who lost control of his vehicle as he attempt to navigate the slick roads. The two men were pronounced dead at the scene, while the man who hit them was taken to a regional medical center where he was listed in fair condition.

Safety experts indicate that those who find themselves stranded and/or those who stop to help should always take steps to get away from the incapacitated vehicle, if possible, as soon as they are able -- particularly in snowy, icy or rainy conditions. This may mean either driving or walking to a safe location or, at the very least, standing at a safe distance away from the road.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, it's important to understand that you can seek the justice you deserve, and that you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about your options.

Source: WOOD TV8, "The safe way to be a good Samaritan," Joe LaFurgey, Oct. 25, 2013 

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