Be Safe Driving in Winter

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The personal injury law office of Zneimer & Zneimer is receiving increased volumes of calls involving snow-related car crashes in Chicago and the suburbs.  Driving in snowy conditions can be challenging and dangerous, but with a few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of a car accident and personal injury.

It is important to check the weather forecast before heading out on the road. If you know that snow is expected, it is best to avoid driving if possible. If you must drive, make sure you have the proper tires for the weather condition, as well as enough fuel and an emergency kit that includes a blanket, snacks, and water.  Bear in mind that a reasonable driver will slow down when driving on snow even if the speed limit may permit a higher speed and therefore, give yourself extra time.

Before you start your car, clear all the snow and ice off the windows, mirrors, headlights, and taillights. Make sure your windshield wipers and defrosters are working properly, and top off your windshield washer fluid.  When driving in snowy conditions, it is important to slow down and leave extra space between you and the car in front of you. Snow and ice can greatly reduce your visibility and make it harder to stop or turn. Remember that on bridges and overpasses, the road will freeze before the rest of the road.

Even if the posted speed limit is higher, it is important for drivers in Illinois to slow down when driving in winter conditions to avoid accidents. This is because snow and ice can greatly reduce visibility and make it much harder to stop or turn. Additionally, the roads may be slippery and uneven, making it more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. When driving on snow-covered or icy roads, it’s essential to reduce your speed to give yourself more time to react to potential hazards. The posted speed limit is based on ideal driving conditions, but when the roads are slick and slippery, it’s much harder to stop or steer quickly. By slowing down, you can give yourself more time to react to any obstacles or hazards on the road and avoid a potential accident.

Moreover, the higher the speed, the greater the impact in case of a collision. Even if you are driving at a speed within the legal limit, the force of a collision can be far more severe when traveling at higher speeds. By slowing down, you can reduce the severity of a collision if an accident does occur.  Remember also that even if the roads have been plowed and treated, they may still be slippery and dangerous. Always be aware of the weather and road conditions and adjust your speed accordingly. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

When braking, do it gently and early because if you brake suddenly, you may lose control of your car. Instead of using your brakes, it is better to slow down by taking your foot off the gas pedal. If your car starts to skid, steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go, and avoid hitting the brakes.  When turning, again, do it gently and avoid sudden movements. Remember that the rear of your car will want to slide out. To avoid this, turn the wheel gently and slowly.  Do not forget that the seatbelt is there for your protection and can save your life.  Therefore, always wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers do the same. This simple step can greatly reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a car accident and need help and information how to go about making a claim and pursuing damages, contact our law firm at 773-516-4100.  We have a lot of experience in handling personal injury cases for victims of automobile accidents.

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