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Common Hazards of Driving in Winter
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Winter driving can be treacherous in Illinois. If you’re not prepared for the hazards, you could end up in a motor vehicle accident. It’s important to be aware of the dangers and use caution when driving in winter conditions.

Poor visibility

When snow, sleet and rain are falling, it can be difficult to see what’s ahead of you on the road. It’s easy to miss an animal crossing, a patch of ice or a detour sign. Make sure you use your headlights so that other drivers can see you in the snow and reduce your speed when visibility is poor.

Ice and slippery roads

Ice can form on untreated roads quickly during winter months, making them slick and hazardous to drive on. It’s important to drive slower than you normally would in order to maintain control of your vehicle. Ice can also form on bridges and overpasses, so be sure to take extra caution when crossing them.

Snow drifts

Snow drifts can create a hidden hazard as they block the view of the road ahead, potentially leading to motor vehicle accidents. Make sure you slow down when approaching a drift, and allow yourself extra time to brake if necessary.

Animals

Some wild animals, such as certain species of deer, tend to move around more in the winter months. Be on the lookout for animals crossing the road, and be extra cautious when driving at night or in areas with heavy brush.

High winds

Wind gusts can create whiteout conditions, making it difficult to see the road ahead. When high winds are present, reduce your speed and be prepared to pull over if necessary.

When driving in winter conditions, one of the most common motor vehicle accidents that can occur due to these hazards is a collision with another motorist. Other common motor vehicle accidents include skidding off the road due to icy or snow-covered roads, hydroplaning due to heavy rainfall and collisions with animals crossing the road. It’s important to drive safely and be aware of the potential dangers that come with winter driving so that you remain safe while navigating winter roads.