Chicago winters are known for harsh temperatures, ice, and plenty of snow. The number of weather-related accidents always tends to increase this time of year, which is why it is important that all motorists exercise caution while on the road. Whether you are driving to work, taking children to school, or running errands, re-familiarize yourself with these winter driving safety tips – and stay safe on the roads!
Essential Winter Driving Tips
It doesn’t matter if you have been driving in the snow and ice for years or have just started with a learner’s permit, these tips are essential for safe driving in Chicago winters:
- Never drive while fatigued.
- Do not warm your vehicle up in an enclosed area (such as a closed garage).
- Check your tire pressure frequently – cold air tends to deflate tires.
- Do not mix radial tires with other types of tires. If you can, install four winter tires on your vehicle and save the other tires for spring and summer.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half-full.
- Do not use your parking brake in cold, snowy, or icy weather unless necessary.
- Use your seatbelt every time you get into a vehicle – whether you are the one driving or not.
- Never use cruise control while in a snowstorm or while driving in bad weather.
Tips Specifically for Driving in the Snow
The snow is especially harsh for driving, as it means limited control and stability, and makes it more difficult to stop. If you will be driving in the snow, keep the following in mind:
- Always accelerate and decelerate slowly. Never apply the brakes suddenly – this can cause a loss of control of the vehicle.
- Drive slowly and exercise caution. That means giving yourself more time to take turns and stop, and allowing extra distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
- Know how your brakes operate. Even if you have antilock brakes, you should understand how to properly use them in the snow, which includes using firm pressure and threshold braking.
- Do not stop in heavy snowstorms unless you have to. It will take much more force for your vehicle to get moving again in deep snow versus when your vehicle is still rolling. This can prevent you from being stuck when the snow is too deep.
- Do not power up hills. Using extra gas can force the tires to spin and your vehicle to lose control.
- Do not stop while going up a hill in the snow. Your vehicle needs inertia in order to continue at a steady pace and reach the top.
- Unless you must go out, stay home when the weather is poor or the snow is too deep.
Injured in a Vehicle Accident?
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in accidents in poor weather. While you cannot control the weather, reckless driving can be avoided. When a driver fails to exercise caution or drives irresponsibly in poor weather, causing an accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you were injured in an accident – whether in a storm or not – contact the accident attorneys at Malman Law today. Schedule a free consultation at 888-836-5975 or fill out an online contact form.