Winter has clearly arrived in Chicagoland, and with it ice, snow, freezing rain and other hazardous conditions that often lead to car accidents. While you may not be able to control the weather, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of weather adversely effecting your daily commute.

According to Consumer Reports, you should “make sure any scheduled maintenance is handled on schedule. A new survey by Consumer Reports shows that many motorists are postponing maintenance or repairs. The only thing worse than being stuck at the side of the road is being there in freezing rain when a regular maintenance item was neglected. Keeping your car update to date with maintenance will help to make it is reliable and safe.”

Beyond practicing good vehicle maintenance, you also need to drive carefully. You may be liable for Chicago personal injury or wrongful death if you are driving recklessly – regardless of whether you are driving in the snow or other inclement weather. Here are five tips for driving carefully in winter weather conditions:

  1. Observe the speed limit, especially if it has been reduced due to inclement weather. 
  2. Allow adequate space from the car in front of you. Keep in mind that slippery conditions – particularly black ice – can make it difficult or impossible for you to stop short.
  3. Pull over to use your cell phone. Do not talk, text or use your phone for anything while driving in winter weather conditions. 
  4. Do not ever drink or use drugs (even prescription drugs with side effects) while driving – regardless of weather conditions.
  5. Clear all the ice and snow off your vehicle prior to driving away, especially your windows and mirrors. 

Following the above winter driving tips may help you avoid an accident, but if you are involved in a Chicago car crash while driving in the snow, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer. They can help you determine what your next step should be.