4 winter driving tips that will keep you safer
While driving is an inherently dangerous activity, the risks are amplified when winter conditions exist. This is particularly true in Chicago, Illinois, where variable weather patterns and heavy and frequent snow create an abundance of additional concerns for city drivers. With the Illinois Department of Transportation reporting 67 accident fatalities in 2015 already, and several more months of snow still ahead, winter driving safety tips are of particular concern for area drivers, as well as a Chicago personal injury attorney. Here’s a look at four tips Chicago drivers can employ to help them stay safe while on Illinois roadways this winter.
- Be prepared
Many winter driving concerns can be alleviated with some careful preparation. While breaking down in the summer may be a minor inconvenience, doing so in the dead of winter is downright dangerous. A Chicago personal injury attorney would encourage drivers whose vehicles are in need of service to visit a mechanic before winter weather hits. Anything from a dead battery to a bad hose can cause a car to die in cold weather, so taking proper precautions beforehand is an Illinois driver’s best bet at staying safe.
- Fill up on windshield washer fluid
Running out of windshield washer fluid can have a devastating effect on visibility, particularly during times of heavy precipitation. Some drivers go through a half-gallon or more of windshield washer fluid during inclement weather. That’s why it’s essential that all area drivers not only keep their cars and trucks filled with fluid, but that they also keep an extra bottle on hand in the event of an emergency.
- Keep the gas tank full
Most drivers have at least some idea of how many miles they can drive once the gas light comes on, but winter is not the time to test any theories. In the unfortunate event that drivers find themselves stuck or stranded, their car’s engine becomes their only heat source. A Chicago personal injury attorney would suggest staying in the car with the engine idling until the gas is gone. This is generally harmless on the engine, but a window should be kept open a bit while doing so to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.
- Avoid crowding plows
IDOT is reminding local motorists that Illinois snowplow drivers have limited visibility. While drivers may be able to see the plow, the plow driver is not necessarily able to see other vehicles. The safest way to handle close proximity to a plow truck is to give it as much room as possible to work, and to stay out of the way.
Although winter driving carries with it inherent dangers, utilizing these tips is an easy and effective way to maximize safety when winter driving conditions are present.