Chicago saw its first snowfall of the season this weekend and it was one for the record books. The city got hit with the second-largest November snowstorm since records began in 1884. Total snowfall at O’Hare Airport was measured at 11.2 inches while northern Illinois saw 16 inches. Northern Lake County may have seen the heaviest total snowfall at 19 inches while Mundelein and Rockford each got about 15 inches.
Snow can be a problem for area motorists but this weekend was made even worse as ice began to blanket city streets, expressways, and interstates. Today, that ice and snow mixture has been blamed for multiple collisions that occurred between Friday and as late as Sunday morning with some of those winter car accidents resulting in injuries.
There is a perception that winter weather car accidents are unavoidable if you live in the Chicago area. While that may be true in some instances, the majority of crashes reveal that mistakes by one or more drivers are the primary cause of a collision with the weather only playing a contributing role. If a crash is due to negligent action by a motorist, it means that those collisions can be avoided in the future by operators who pay attention, follow the rules of the road, and exercise safety for all those in the area.
If you will be driving this winter, the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. encourages you to keep the following tips in mind before you take to the winter roads:
- Have Your Vehicle Serviced: If it has been a while since your car was serviced, it is a good idea to take it in for a check up to make sure it is in proper working order. Often, it is much easier to fix or repair an issue before it reaches the point of failure and it can save you a serious headache if you get it fixed before it leads you to become stranded on the side of the road. Vehicle breakdowns or other issues can become a safety hazard in the wintertime as temperatures continue to drop, potentially leading drivers to suffer from issues including hypothermia.
- Check Your Tires: Tires are one of the most overlooked portions of a car that require routine maintenance and replacement. A typical set of tires lasts for a specified number of years or miles and driving on tires beyond that point can increase the odds that they will deteriorate or blowout, potentially leading to a car accident. Often, drivers will benefit from having a set of cold weather or snow tires to utilize in the winter which can provide them with greater traction and an increased ability to slow and/or stop when the weather cools or when snow and ice are present on city streets.
- Decrease Your Speed: Inclement weather means that it will take longer to bring your vehicle to a complete stop for a red light, stop sign, or even to avoid traffic in the area. To make sure you are in complete control of your car, slow down and drive a speed that is appropriate for the conditions. Even a decrease of five or 10 miles per hour can make a big difference when it comes to winter driving and can increase the odds that you will make it to your destination without issue.
- Be Patient Around Plows: Plow trucks and other road crews have an important job to do. If you see one nearby, resist the urge to speed past it or to cut it off as it can be dangerous to your safety. Further, by being patient around plow trucks, you will experience a roadway that has been cleared of snow or treated with sand or salt, making the road more desirable to drive upon and reducing your odds of a crash.
The unfortunate reality remains that a driver can do everything right in Illinois and yet still be involved in a collision if another motorist nearby fails to act in a safe or reasonable manner. If that happens to you and you are the victim of a winter weather car accident, know that you possess certain legal rights that may entitle you to financial compensation for your damages.
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. have helped countless victims of collisions over the years and if you have been hurt, we want to help you as well. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to those who contact us toll free at (855) 529-2442, locally at (312) 924-7575, or online and we have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to help you. If we agree to represent you in your case, we will not charge you a fee unless we are successful on your behalf and we will advance all costs associated with your case.
If you want to learn about your legal options, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us discuss how you can move beyond a crash and toward relief.
Prior Blog Entry:
Chicago Parents Use Wrong Car Seats, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published November 16, 2015.