With winter officially right around the corner, Illinois drivers must quickly reacquaint themselves with how to safely travel in hazardous conditions. From the weather conditions themselves to potential mechanical failures during a commute, experts encourage drivers to identify and avoid as many hazards as possible to stay safe on highways and city streets.
Midwestern winters are known for sudden, aggressive changes. The weather can be cool and clear on the morning commute to work, yet roads could be piled up with a foot of snow on the way back home at the end of the day. Drivers must remember several tips during the winter months and holiday season, including:
- Some roads are more dangerous than others: Drivers might be used to traveling along heavily trafficked thoroughfares with the benefit of snowplows that clear the roads and spread salt, sand and chemicals. Unfortunately, some roads pose more of a threat than others. Bridges and overpasses, for example, will usually ice over first due to the way the wind flows around these structures. Additionally, many county roads, while plowed, might still see fast-developing snow drifts as there are not many buildings to break up the damaging, straight-line winds.
- Cold weather takes a toll on the vehicle: While manufacturers design vehicles to operate in sub-optimal conditions, sustained freezing temperatures can play havoc with numerous systems. From the loss of tire pressure to a diminished battery charge, drivers are encouraged to have regular vehicle service performed sooner rather than later.
- Driver error is a serious problem: Unfortunately, even if you do everything right, you might meet a poor driver on the road. This could be a distracted driver, an impaired driver or a driver who is simply going too fast for weather conditions. On a slippery, sloppy road, these factors can contribute to a deadly motor vehicle collision. It is wise to reduce your own distractions and continuously monitor your surroundings as poor drivers are often readily identifiable.
If you were in a motor vehicle collision caused by the negligence of another driver, it is wise to explore your options for monetary recovery through the legal system. A serious crash can result in head trauma, spinal cord damage and chronic pain. These injuries can make it difficult to maintain gainful employment and life a happy, healthy life.