As the saying goes, there’s only two seasons in Chicago: construction and winter. We’re about to head into winter, so now’s the right time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the challenges winter brings. We at Kryder Law know that winter driving can often result in car accidents and our auto accident lawyers want to make sure your travels are safe this season.
There are three key ways to prevent auto accidents during a Chicago winter: preparation, inspection, and attention.
Prepare for the Worst
Nothing makes dealing with winter conditions more hazardous than not being ready for them. This fall, make sure to store blankets, water, windshield wiper fluid, jumper cables, and a bag of salt in your vehicle. Check that your spare tire isn’t flat. Before beginning a long drive, always pack extra food and have a flashlight on hand in case you need to pull over for an extended period of time. Finally, make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full during the winter months.
Know Your Vehicle
It can be tempting to take your vehicle’s condition for granted, but now is the right time to make sure your car, truck, or motorcycle is ready for winter driving. Schedule a time to see a trusted mechanic to inspect your brakes, tires, and fluid levels. Make it part of your routine to check your tires and fluids regularly. Now’s also a great time to invest in new wiper blades before a winter storm puts them to the test.
In winter it is especially important to drive cautiously to avoid accidents. Check your grip on the steering wheel regularly, making sure you’ve got two hands on the wheel to respond to ice, wind, and potholes. Remember that it’s better to break, accelerate, and steer lightly to prevent slips and spinning tires. Also, keep an eye out for black ice. One of the key signs of black ice is a lack of spray from your tires. And, of course, avoid distractions while driving–stow your phone somewhere so it’s out of mind and out of sight.
Even the most responsible drivers sometimes experience accidents. Kryder Law’s car accident lawyers are ready to help you if you or a loved one gets hurt in an automobile accident this winter. Call our office today to find out about your rights after a car accident (312)598-0739.
Stay safe out there and it’ll be spring–we mean “construction season”–before you know it!
Pack a Roadside Emergency Kit
The truth is that you never know when a roadside emergency will strike. Whether your car fails to start or you experience a tire blowout on the highway, facing a roadside emergency in the winter can be the most difficult. You don’t know how long you’ll have to wait for roadside assistance to arrive and you will need to have the necessary supplies to stay comfortable until then. Packing a roadside emergency kit is a winter necessity. It should include some non-perishable food, water, and warm blankets, in addition to the traditional jumper cables, spare tire, and tire jack.
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Avoid Driving in the Most Dangerous Weather
If possible, it is generally a good idea to avoid driving in the most dangerous weather conditions. When a snowstorm strikes, for instance, try to avoid driving altogether. During bad snowstorms, Chicago area schools and workplaces often close. If schools closed due to the weather, it is a good indicator that the driving conditions will be poor. Unless you absolutely have to go somewhere, it is worth staying inside instead. This can protect you and your loved ones from dangerous winter driving.
Multitasking is really an act where you perform one task and then another. It isn’t really possible to focus your attention on more than one task at the exact same time. When you eat a sandwich while driving, there are seconds that you divert your eyes from the road in order to take a bite from the sandwich. Seconds may not seem like much, yet a few seconds is all that is necessary to cause an automotive crash. In the winter, when conditions are more likely to cause an accident, it is even more important to remain diligent in your commitment to distraction-free driving.
Invest in Winter Grade Supplies
It can become extremely cold in the city of Chicago. In recent years, new records have been set with regard to the types of damage that can occur during freezing weather. If you drive regularly in the snow or if your car has to be parked outside during the extreme cold weather, it can be beneficial to invest in winter grade supplies. This can include specialized winter oil, snow tires, and windshield wiper fluid. If you have any questions about how to protect your car best during the freezing weather, ask your trusted auto repair technician for advice during your next maintenance appointment.
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Take Your Time
In the bustle of everyday life, everything can seem urgent. However, rushing can be dangerous, as it can cause you to make quick decisions that aren’t well thought out. In driving, rushing can cause you to speed through a light, drive aggressively, or miss turns. This can create dangerous driving conditions, especially in winter. This winter, take your time and reduce your risk of getting involved in auto accidents.