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6 winter driving safety tips for Chicago

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Unfortunately, winter weather increases the risk of car accidents due to slippery roads, reduced visibility and unpredictable driving conditions. In Chicago, where winter storms can be severe, drivers must be aware of the potential for accidents and the injuries they can cause.

Following a few driving tips can keep you and everyone else sharing the roads safer.

1. Check your tires

Check your tires for proper tread depth and inflation. Consider switching to winter tires for enhanced traction. Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and fill up your windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter-grade solution to prevent freezing.

2. Respect icy roads

Slow down and increase your following distance in snowy or icy conditions. Change speeds gradually to avoid skidding. Be particularly cautious on bridges, ramps and shaded areas where ice tends to accumulate. Remember, it takes longer to stop on icy roads, so give yourself plenty of room to brake.

3. Clear your car

Clear snow and ice from your windows, mirrors, headlights and taillights for optimal visibility. Snow left on the roof or hood of your car can become hazardous to other drivers, so take the time to remove it.

4. Be visible

Turn on your headlights, even during the day. This helps other drivers see you, especially in snowy conditions with reduced visibility. Use your turn signals early to give other drivers ample time to react.

5. Adjust schedules

Check weather and road conditions before heading out. Listen to local traffic reports and consider using navigation apps that provide real-time updates on road conditions and traffic congestion. If conditions worsen, consider delaying your trip or finding an alternative route.

6. Be prepared

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle stocked with essentials such as a flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, water, snacks and a first-aid kit. Consider adding a small shovel, ice scraper and sand or kitty litter for traction if you get stuck.

Chicago’s roads will be safer if all drivers take appropriate precautions, especially during the winter.