Safe winter driving can reduce risk of Chicago car accidents

Authorities are urging motorists to be prepared for snow, ice, and other poor driving conditions. Winter weather is a frequent cause of Chicago car accident, particularly at the start of the winter driving season.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 173 motorists were killed and more than 17,000 were injured in accidents on wet, icy or snowy roads last year.”Motorists should plan ahead and provide sufficient time to reach their destination, slow down, buckle-up and eliminate all potential distractions in their vehicle before driving.” IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig said. “Safety is the number one priority at IDOT and it is never compromised.”

The Illinois State Police also reminds motorists to use caution and to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles.

“During the winter months, motorists can help protect those who work to keep our roads safe, by yielding to emergency vehicles. The Move Over law requires drivers to change lanes, or reduce speed and proceed with caution when approaching stationary emergency vehicles displaying flashing warning lights,” said Illinois State Police Acting Director Jonathon Monken. “Reducing speed, avoiding distractions, and practicing safe driving habits are crucial in the winter months. There is simply less room for error during inclement weather.”

The highway department reports that completed construction projects should provide some relief from congestion and better road conditions. But reminds drivers to be prepared for poor conditions and to watch out for snow-removal equipment.

“We still encourage drivers to be prepared for winter conditions, use caution and watch out for snow plows and other crews working to clear the way,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur.

Illinois Safe Driving Tips Include:

-Give plows plenty of space. Plow operators typically have a limited field of vision and may not see you.

-Beware of black ice. Take it easy at intersections, off-ramps, bridges and in other areas prone to ice buildup.

-Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full.

-Avoid travel when possible.

-Carry an emergency car kit that includes jumper cables, reflectors or road flares, windshield washer fluid, ice scraper, sand or other traction material, blankets, food items and a first-aid kit.

-Always carry your cell phone.

-Wear your seat belt.

-Have your car serviced.

-Keep tires in good repair.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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