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Lake County Car Accident Lawyers

Winter is here, and that means that motorists and pedestrians alike need to exercise extra caution to avoid being injured in accidents caused by adverse weather conditions. Snow, ice, and rain all decrease driver's visibility and make it more difficult for car tires to grip the road, putting drivers at risk of spinning out and colliding with each other and stationary objects. When a collision occurs, one or more parties could be injured. These injuries can in turn lead to significant expenses for the injured parties, saddling them with high medical bills and possibly keeping them out of work for extended periods of time. If you find yourself in this situation, do not panic. You could be entitled to monetary compensation for your damages through a car accident claim. To learn more about this process and what you need to do as a victim to help your claim, work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Do Car Accidents Occur More Frequently in the Winter?

Not necessarily. What contributes to high frequency of car accidents is weather conditions like wet pavement and reduced visibility as a result of fog, snow, and rain. Although most years, these conditions are more present during the winter months, there are some years where an exceptionally wet summer followed by a mild winter can lead to a greater number of car accidents occurring during the summer months. What drivers really need to be careful of is wet pavement, which was cited as a contributing factor in 74 percent of weather-related crashes recorded from 2002 to 2012. In total, 23 percent of all car crashes that occurred during that period cited weather conditions as a contributing factor.

One factor that remains constant every winter is the shortened daylight hours. In the dark, it can be more difficult for a driver to see hazards and pedestrians in front of his or her car. Coupling this with black ice and snow drifts can make for dark, dangerous road trips this winter.

Preparation for Winter Driving

There are extra steps you must take to prepare your vehicle for driving in colder temperatures and packing appropriately to keep yourself safe in the event of a breakdown or collision. You might have grown up with the advice to idle your car for a few minutes on cold days before driving to ensure that the fuel and air are evenly mixed and distributed through the engine. This was true for cars that used carburetors, which stopped being produced in the early 1990s. Today, fuel injection engines can be driven seconds after starting the car.

Ways you can prepare for winter driving include:

  • Keep your gas tank at least halfway full at all times to avoid a gas line freeze-up;
  • Do not mix radial and regular tires;
  • Use antifreeze, not water, to cool your engine;
  • Keep a flashlight, jumper cables, ice scraper, an abrasive material like kitty litter or sand, and warm blanket in your car; and
  • Check your battery, windshield wiper blades, and tire tread before every trip.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

When you are driving this winter, there are ways you can reduce your risk of being involved in a collision. These include:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly to retain maximum traction;
  • Allow for a greater following distance on icy, snowy, or wet roads;
  • Do not stop on hills;
  • If you start to skid, steer into it rather than in the opposite direction;
  • Do not use cruise control on wet or slippery surfaces; and
  • Do not use your parking brake on wet or slippery surfaces.

Waukegan Car Accident Lawyers

Despite taking all the right steps to minimize your chance of being involved in a car accident this winter, there is still a chance that you might find yourself suffering from an injury following one. If this is the case, know that you have the right to seek monetary compensation for your losses with help from an experienced Illinois car accident attorney. Our team of Waukegan personal injury lawyers at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. is here to help you by providing you with legal advice and representing your claim to help you get the money you deserve. Do not wait to contact us – be proactive and schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm today.

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