This winter has been one for the record books—almost. While Chicago averages about 36 inches of snow each winter, it’s just the beginning of February and there have been almost 60 inches.  During Tuesday night’s storm into Wednesday, state police responded to 14 accidents that involved only damage to vehicles, as well as another three that resulted in injuries. The tally did not include crashes where no one was hurt and vehicles could be driven away.

Of course, driving conditions were bad, with cars slipping and spinning across the roads.  The high number of crashes is a stark reminder that during these cold months, we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, and that we must slow down and drive more carefully. If we don’t, we could be paying the consequences.

snow-causes-many-auto-crashes

Driving According to Conditions

Often, after a big snowstorm, many roads have not been adequately plowed or salted yet, and even if they have, a thin layer of ice may still be present, which can cause accidents very easily. Make sure to always drive according to the conditions—when it’s snowing, visibility is lower and the streets will be slick, but some drivers still push through as though the roads are clear as a summer’s day.  Drivers with snow tires may also overestimate the safety or handling of their vehicles. While you can’t always predict how other cars (or even your own car) will react to the weather, you can drive in a manner that will leave you plenty of time to react to the unexpected.

Pile-Up Crashes

This year, seemingly more frequently than recent winters, incidents have occurred in which dozens of cars pile up on a highway after just one driver spins out or otherwise loses control of their car. Ensure that you’re not a part of one of these pileups by driving with extreme caution, especially on busy roads and highways. Leave enough space between your vehicle and surrounding vehicles so that if something happens ahead of you, you have plenty of time to stop or get out of the way of the crash.

If you do end up getting into a car accident, contact a skilled car accident lawyer for help. Getting a lawyer involved can often improve your chances of seeking compensation, particularly if you were not an at-fault party in the accident. For more information about how to drive safely this winter, check out our helpful tips.