Preventing Accidents in Winter Weather

Regardless of where you live, winter driving can be one of the most difficult skills you will ever have to master. In Chicago, Aurora, Wheaton and the nearby region, frequent snow and ice can make even plowed roads tough to drive on without the right equipment. What can be done to prevent accidents during the winter months?

Make Sure Your Car Can Handle the Winter Weather

chicago-112222_1280Is your car ready to drive on roads covered in snow or ice? You should check your tires to make sure that they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. Furthermore, check your windshield wipers and fluid levels to make sure that your windshield will stay clear if it snows while you are driving. Finally, make sure that your heater works properly as you want to make sure that any ice buildup on your vehicle can be melted away quickly to give you better vision while driving.

Account for Road Conditions

Some people assume that driving at or near the speed limit is appropriate regardless of the road conditions. However, if there is snow or ice on the road’s surface, you may need to reduce your speed to 30 miles per hour or lower even on the highway. This is because your stopping distance is going to be longer when the tires cannot adequately grip the surface your car is driving on. In some cases, ice can develop on wet roads as the temperature drops below freezing during the overnight hours.

Give Yourself Extra Time to Get to Your Destination

By giving yourself extra time to get to work or school, you won’t need to drive as fast to get there on time. Doing so enables you to keep a longer following distance while also driving slowly if necessary to account for poor roadways. Giving yourself extra time may also allow you to take an alternate route through areas that don’t have as much traffic. While this route may take longer to navigate, you reduce the odds of getting into an auto accident if there are fewer cars around you.

Heed Emergency Protocols

Your local or state government agencies may declare a state of emergency or issue warnings to stay off of the roads when inclement weather is about to take place. While you may believe that your vehicle is strong enough to handle even the biggest snow storm, you should heed the warning and stay home if at all possible. In some cases, it may be illegal to drive during such an event, or you may risk being stranded if you attempt to go out during a blizzard or ice storm. Typically, a storm will blow through and the roads will be cleared in less than 24 hours, so it is almost always better to stay home instead of increasing your risk of getting into a crash.

The best time to prepare for winter weather is before it begins, so pay attention to local weather reports for Wheaton, Aurora, Naperville and Chicago as we move into the winter season. Winterizing your vehicle, planning alternate routes to get to your destinations and staying abreast of weather and road conditions before you go out each day can keep you safe and reduce the odds that you get into an accident. However, if you do end up in a car accident or truck accident with another driver, contact the personal injury attorneys of Theisen & Roche, who will fight for you to receive compensation for your injuries.