Abels & Annes

Winter Weather and Holiday Travel Season Increase Risks for Illinois Car Accident

The Illinois Department of Transportation understands the dangers and risks that accompany roadway travel through the holiday season. This year, the Transportation Department is here to share some useful tips to help you and your family to help you to avoid a potentially fatal car accident in Chicago and elsewhere. By following a few simple driving tips, you can help to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for everyone.
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The National Safety Council (NSC) has also recently released a report illustrating just how dangerous our roadways will be over the holidays. In their latest report, the NSC reveals its predictions for roadway fatalities and injuries over these holidays. Every year, the NSC releases this information in an attempt to reiterate the importance of safe driving habits through congested roadways.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that the NSC has predicted nearly 300 roadways fatalities to occur over the Christmas holiday. This is the holiday period that takes from Friday, December 23rd until Monday, December 26th. In addition to these estimated 300 fatalities, the NSC is predicting another 28,500 injuries over this time period that will require treatment from a medical professional.

The number of Christmas holiday roadway fatalities has decreased significantly since 2007. In 2007 there were about 455 fatalities, in 2008 there were nearly 410 and in 2009 there were less than 250. While it’s promising to have seen a significant reduction in these numbers, they’re still all too high.

The NSC is also offering it’s predictions for the New Year’s holiday period, which is actually more fatal than Christmas. This year, the NSC is predicting that another 300 people will die on our roadways during this time. In addition, the NSC is predicting another 29,500 injuries to require medical attention. In this holiday period, the number of fatalities has actually increased since 2007. In 2007 there were about 390 fatalities, in 2008 there were about 410 and in 2009 there were about 460.

The Illinois Department of Transportation offers these safe driving tips to help you to stay safe on our roadways through the holidays:

-Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law and it could save your life.

-If you don’t feel comfortable driving in the current weather conditions, don’t!

-Your headlights should be on and dim when driving in the rain.

-Your headlights should be on and dim when driving in the fog. Use your fog lights if you have them.

-Stay within the limits of your vision through the weather.

-Make sure your windows are clear of ice and snow. Don’t start moving until your windshield is completely defrosted.

-When weather is poor, drive slower and increase your following distance. This will give you more time to react.

-Keep an eye out for slick spots in shaded areas.

-If the roads are slick, brake slowly and gently.

-If you hydroplane, let off of the brakes and steer into the direction your vehicle is going until you regained traction with the road.

-Be cautious around snowplows. Don’t pass until you’re sure another vehicle isn’t coming.

If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Black Ice Threatens Roadways and Increases Risks for Car Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 20, 2011

First Measurable Snow Fall Highlights Risks for Car Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 16, 2011