Winter weather presents hazards for all drivers in Illinois. Preparing for cold temperatures, snow, ice, and low visibility helps reduce the risk of a car accident. Travelers should take extra precautions during winter to stay safe on the snow and ice-covered roads.
Winter in Illinois
There is an average of five severe winter storms each year in Illinois, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. In January 2019, the state experienced record-breaking cold temperatures; the temperature dropped to minus 38 degrees in Carroll County. The agency reports that winter driving contributes to approximately 29,000 vehicle crashes, 4,500 injuries, and 80 fatalities each year.
Be Prepared for Adverse Weather
Weather can be unpredictable, so it is imperative that Illinois drivers prepare before heading out on the roads, and take extra precautions while traveling during winter storms. It is advisable to stay home during bad weather. If you have to venture outside in winter weather conditions, there are some safety tips drivers should practice.
Winterize Your Car
- As temperatures drop, so does tire pressure. Check your tires to ensure they have enough pressure and tread. Replace worn tires and consider using snow tires in the winter.
- Make sure you have enough coolant and that the cooling system is working. Also, check the windshield wipers and be sure to use freeze-resistant wiper fluid when temperatures are low.
- Fill your gas tank to prevent ice from forming in the fuel lines and make sure you are using the appropriate oil.
- Cold weather reduces battery capacity, so do a thorough inspection of your battery, cables, and terminals to ensure there are no cracks and that the battery has enough voltage.
Prepare Before You Drive
- Check the weather before traveling, especially for long distances.
- Pack a winter storm survival kit that includes blankets, a first aid kit, water, extra clothes, sand or cat litter, a shovel, a windshield scraper, booster cables, and other provisions that may be necessary in the event that you become stranded or must wait for a tow truck.
- Plan your route ahead of time. Enter your destination into the GPS and check for road closures.
- If possible, do not drive alone. Drivers can take turns driving during long road trips to avoid crashes due to drowsy driving.
Drive Safely in the Snow
- Drive slower than usual and leave significant distance between you and the car in front of you.
- Apply pressure to the gas and brakes slowly and be sure to start slowing down well ahead of the time. You also want to come to a complete stop.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Try not to stop or press the brakes when going uphill.
- Watch out for black ice.
- Avoid distractions, like texting.
- Always wear your seat belt.
Edwardsville Car Crash Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Car Crash Victims Obtain Compensation for Their Injuries
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Edwardsville car crash lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 618-277-3644 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we also serve clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.