Following safety tips for winter driving in Chicago can often mean the difference between being in an accident and avoiding one. Chicago receives its share of freezing weather during the winter with the strong winds blowing off Lake Michigan and temperatures plummeting.
Even when weather conditions are treacherous, some accidents are caused by negligence. You are responsible for taking safety precautions during winter driving in Chicago on ice and snow.
SAFETY TIPS FROM THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (NTHSA)
NHTSA suggests you take the following precautions for winter driving:
- Get your car serviced. Having your car break down in snowy or icy conditions is a nightmare. You can prevent this from happening by checking your battery and having the charging system and belts checked by your mechanic.
- Use coolant. Ensure you use a 50/50 mix of coolant to water so your cooling system works properly and you don’t damage your engine.
- Check your tires. Make sure you have tires with tread that provide good traction and this includes your snow tires.
- Learn how to drive on snow and ice. You should practice driving in snow and ice in an area where there’s no traffic. An empty parking lot is a good place. Hone your skills so you know how to turn and not skid, how to turn out of a spin and the best way to brake on snow and ice.
- Learn how to brake. Know whether you have anti-lock brakes or not. Slow pressure is best for anti-lock brakes and gentle pumping works well when brakes aren’t anti-lock.
- Drive slowly. You can stop more quickly when you drive slowly, and it’s easier to deal with slick roads when you are not going fast. Keep plenty of distance between your car and other cars.
- Skidding. Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while you carefully steer in the direction you want the car to go. This will bring your car back into line during a skid.
WINTER DRIVING IN CHICAGO | WHEN TO CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER
Sometimes accidents happen in treacherous weather and no one is a fault, but in other instances, accidents occur due to another driver’s negligence. When you suffer serious injury, seek legal help. The Law Offices of Michael R. De La Paz offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and determine whether you have grounds to pursue a claim against a negligent driver.