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Illinois Driver Safety: Winter Weather Safety Tips

Posted on in Motorcycle Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,According to the Federal Highway Commission, more than 117,000 Americans are injured or killed each year on icy, snowy, or slushy roads. Dangerous for even the most competent of drivers, it is essential that Illinois motorists effectively prepare for such conditions to prevent automobile accidents. The following winter weather safety tips can make the roads a little safer for everyone this season.

Keep a Winter Travel Safety Kit in Your Car

Poor road conditions or vehicle malfunctions can leave you stranded on the side of the road with very little chance of finding anyone that can help. Be prepared with a winter travel safety kit. The following are recommended items you should include:

  • Food and water;
  • An ice scraper;
  • A snow-brush;
  • A small shovel;
  • Tow chain;
  • Jumper cables;,
  • A bag of sand or cat litter to give tires traction;
  • Road flares;
  • A portable radio with batteries;
  • Heavy blankets;
  • Warm, heavy boots;
  • Extra warm clothing;
  • A flashlight with batteries; and
  • And a can of lock de-icer.

Check Off Your Winter Maintenance Checklist

Before the winter weather sets in, make sure your vehicle is prepared to handle the conditions. Replace your existing wiper blades and check important fluids like your antifreeze and oil. Check your battery to ensure it has ample charge, and that the posts are clean and free of corrosion. Brakes, which can be even more difficult to use on slick roads, should be inspected as well to check for worn pads and rotors. And check the PSI in your tires frequently since drops in temperature can decrease tire pressure.

Clear Your Vehicle of Snow and Ice

While it may be a chore, clearing the snow and ice from a vehicle before driving is essential to road safety. Numerous car accidents have been caused by the limited visibility of snow and ice on vehicles, and in some states, it is even illegal to drive without adequately clearing it away. Look at windows, rearview mirrors, headlights, the roof, and the hood.

Replace Your Tires with Winter Tires or Apply Chains

Regular tires simply do not provide adequate traction on icy and snowy roads. Because of this, drivers should install either winter tires or tire chains on their vehicles. Designed with deeper voids between tread blocks and a biting edge, they have the unique ability to channel away snow, water, and ice to improve traction, handling, and braking on snowy or icy roads. Look for the kind that carry the mountain snowflake symbol; this means they have undergone the performance testing to ensure they are suitable for winter weather conditions.

Slow Down and Account for Poor Conditions When Stopping

Excessive speed is the leading cause of automobile accidents on icy roads, so slow down! Remember, your ability to brake is decreased by the slick and snowy roads. This affects your ability to maneuver out of patches of ice or snow, and it increases the amount of time you need to react to unexpected hazards like animals, other vehicles, and pedestrians. Also, avoid tailgating other vehicles; just as your ability to stop is hindered, so is theirs.

Injured in an Accident? Seek Qualified Legal Help

You cannot prevent every accident, but you can seek compensation for you and your loved ones if you are injured. At Salvi & Maher, L.L.C., we provide dedicated and aggressive representation to help clients pursuing damages for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs commonly associated with automobile accidents. For a consultation with our skilled Lake County personal injury attorneys, call us at 847-662-3303 today.



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