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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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Lake County Car Accident Attorneys

This winter, take steps to drive more safely and conscientiously to reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident. Environmental factors like snow and ice on the road, fewer daylight hours, and cold air make driving in the winter more dangerous than driving during warmer times of the year. Use the following ten tips to drive as safely as possible this winter. If you are a parent of a teen driver, be sure to discuss these safety tips with your son or daughter so he or she is prepared for the challenges of winter driving.

Check your Vehicle’s Fluids Before you Leave

In the winter, your car needs different fluids than it needs during the warmer months. Make sure your vehicle has a sufficient level of antifreeze in its radiator to cool it without freezing solid. Replace your windshield wiper fluid with a freeze-resistant solution for the same reason.

Adjust your Driving to your Surroundings

If you do not feel confident driving in the current conditions, do not drive. If you do venture out, adjust your driving to the present conditions. Take turns more widely and choose your route carefully – in most cases, it is better to travel on high-volume highways instead of smaller local routes when there is snow on the ground because these roadways are often plowed first and more thoroughly.

Replace Bald Tires

Determine whether your tires have sufficient tread to keep you from sliding on wet or icy roadways with the penny test. Place a penny in your tire’s tread upside down. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, your tires are bald and you are at an increased risk of sliding on the roadway.

Do Everything More Slowly

When you are driving on a wet, icy, or snowy roadway, do everything you normally do at a reduced speed. Accelerate more slowly, decelerate more slowly, and give other vehicles a greater following distance. Your vehicle needs a greater distance to come to a full stop on a slick roadway and if you apply the brakes too hard, your vehicle can skid.

Consider Using Tire Chains

To increase your tires’ grip of the roadway, consider using tire chains. In Illinois, a driver may use tire chains when he or she feels it is necessary to do so, which is typically when there is snow or ice on the road.

Pack a Safety Kit for your Vehicle

Have a safety kit in your vehicle in case you break down. It should include a flashlight, fresh water, a warm blanket, and a brightly-colored ribbon to tie around a tree branch to alert passing motorists of your need for help.

Avoid Using Cruise Control on Slippery Surfaces

Never use your vehicle’s cruise control when you are driving on wet or slippery surfaces. When your cruise control is on, your vehicle moves at a constant speed, putting you at greater risk of hydroplaning. When your vehicle hydroplanes, you lose some control over it, putting you at risk of colliding with other vehicles and stationary objects. Hitting your brakes while hydroplaning can send the vehicle into a skid, from which it can be difficult to regain control of the vehicle.

Do Not Stop on Hills

In fact, try not to stop at all. When you come to a full stop, your vehicle needs much greater inertia to get going again, which can require you to accelerate at an unsafe speed or cause your tires to spin in the snow without pushing your vehicle. This is especially true on hills. When you approach an ice or snow-covered hill, let your vehicle build up some inertia to go over the hill in a safe, controlled manner, rather than attempting to speed over a hill or regain inertia following a stop.

Check the Weather Forecast Before you Leave

Try to plan your trips around the weather systems that move through your area. If you can, leave before or after a storm reaches your origin and destination points.

Replace your Wiper Blades

Winterizing your car means more than simply swapping its fluids for freeze-resistant ones. It also involves checking various replaceable parts of the vehicle and replacing them. One of these parts is its wiper blades. You will use your windshield wipers much more during winter snow and rainstorms, so be sure to have new ones that will work efficiently, rather than causing your windshield to become streaky.

Work with an Experienced Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyer

Despite doing everything right, you can still be injured in a collision this winter. If you find yourself in this situation, consider working with an experienced Waukegan personal injury lawyer to pursue monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Contact our team at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today to set up your initial consultation with our firm.

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