If you live in the Chicago area, or really anywhere in the Midwest, you know that winter is upon us. We had our first snow last weekend and we are looking at upwards of 12 inches of snow through tonight in the Chicagoland area. The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) has been working hard to help drivers avoid traffic accidents and stay safe on the roads during the winter months. IDOT issued a press release recently called “Winter Weather – Get It Together,” which provides a list of driving tips to use when the roads are snowy and icy. Below is a list of driving tips:
- Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois.
- Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking all are required in winter driving conditions.
- Drop it and drive. Put down the handheld devices – it, too, is the law in Illinois.
- Don’t crowd the plow. A snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see him, but he may not see you.
- Avoid using cruise control in snow and ice.
- Watch out for black ice on roads that appear clear but can be treacherous.
- Be especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All of them are prone to icing.
- Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route. Consider taking public transportation if it is an option.
- Prepare an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
- Carry a cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency.
- Follow Scott’s Law. Slow down and move over for stopped emergency, construction and maintenance vehicles. ·
- For more winter driving tips, check out this short IDOT video
Please be careful when driving in winter weather, but if you or someone you love is injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation. Call 312-614-1076 for a free legal consultation.
Although it has been unseasonably warm so far in Chicago this winter, we all know that ice and snow will be here sooner than later. It can be incredibly dangerous to drive through winter weather, and I have provided a list of tips from AAA that will hopefully prepare you for conditions. You can find all these tips and more by clicking here.
Tips for long-distance winter trips:
- Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
- Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
- Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
- Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
- If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
- Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
- Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
- If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
Tips for driving in the snow:
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
- The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
- Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
- Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
I think the last bit of advice is the most important. If the weather is just too treacherous, then stay home or opt for public transportation. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
We were kind of lucky this winter in Chicago. December and January were fairly mild and we didn’t see a lot of ice or snow. That changed last week when the area was hit with what some are saying the 6th largest blizzard in Chicago history. Up to nineteen (19) inches of snow fell in certain parts of the metropolitan area.
With winter weather can com treacherous driving conditions. There is snow to deal with along with black ice and the resulting pot holes (though the city seems to be taking better care of these this year). The Illinois State Police have posted on their website some useful tips on how to prepare for winter driving and what to do in case you are stuck or have car issues.
What to do before driving in winter weather:
- Plan your travel, selecting both primary and alternate routes.
- Let someone know your travel routes and itinerary so that, if you don’t arrive on time, officials will know where to search for you.
- Check latest weather information on your radio.
- Try not to travel alone – two or three people are preferable.
- Travel in convoy (with another vehicle) if possible.
- Drive carefully and defensively. Watch for ice patches on bridges and overpasses.
- If a storm begins to be too much for you to handle, seek refuge immediately.
- If your car should become disabled, stay with the vehicle, running your engine and heater for short intervals. Be sure to “crack” a window in the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.
Here are some tips what to check in your vehicle before driving during the winter:
- ignition system
- fuel system
- exhaust system
- wiper blades
- snow tires
- tire tread
- proper grade oil
- cooling system
Finally, here are a list of items to store in your vehicle in case of winter emergencies. Especially if you are driving long distances:
- or 3 pound coffee can (punch 3 holes at the top of can, equal distance apart)
- 60-inch length of twine or heavy string (cut into 3 equal pieces – used to suspend can)
- 3 large safety pins (tie string to safety pins and pin to car roof interior to suspend can over candle)
- 1 candle 2″ diameter (place on lid under suspended can for melting snow)
- 1 pocket knife, reasonably sharp (or substitute with scissors)
- 3 pieces of bright cloth 2″ wide x 36″ long (tie to antenna or door handle)
- Several packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc. (mixed into melted snow to provide warmth and nutrition)
- 1 small package of peanuts (provides protein) & fruit-flavored candy (orange slices, jelly beans, etc.-avoid chocolate)
- 1 pair of athletic socks (cotton) and 1 pair of glove liners (cotton)
- 2 packages of book matches
- 1 sun shield blanket or 2 large green or black plastic leaf bags (to reflect body heat)
- 1 pen light and batteries (keep separate)
Be careful the rest of this winter season and remember if you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
It took quite a while, but winter weather has finally hit Chicago and most of the Midwest. Six inches of snow hit the ground last week, quickly melted away, and another batch fell yesterday and last night. Driving in the snow and ice can be treacherous and – – if not careful – – can lead to a serious car accident. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) website provided a comprehensive checklist for drivers to be aware of when driving through ice and snow. Below is the list of tips.
· In RAIN, FOG, SNOW
or SLEET, do not overdrive your headlights.
· Stay within the
limits of your vision.
· Keep your windows
clear of snow and ice. Do not start until your windshield is defrosted.
· Drive slower and
increase your following distance. Your speed should be adjusted for the
conditions and match the flow of traffic.
· Roadway conditions
may vary depending on the sun, shade or roadway surface. Watch for slick spots
especially under bridges, on overpasses and in shaded spots. Be prepared to
react physically and mentally.
· If the pavement is
snow or ice covered, start slowly and brake gently. Begin braking early when you
come to an intersection.
· If you start to
slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid
until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.
· When you approach a
snow plow from behind, pass with care and only when you can see the road
ahead of the plow. You should not try to pass in blowing snow. There may be a
vehicle in that cloud of snow! Allow more distance between you and the plow,
they may be spreading salt.
· Be alert when you
approach a cloud of snow which covers the road, especially on passing lanes of
interstates or freeways. Slow down and approach with caution. A snow plow may
be at work clearing the lane or preparing to turn around.
· Be careful after a
minor rear end accident. If you are bumped from behind and you do not feel
comfortable exiting your vehicle, motion the other driver and drive to the
nearest police station, 24-hour store, service.
Most important, always remember to buckle up, even if you are in the back seat as Illinois now requires all passenger to wear their seat belts.
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We are in the heart of winter here in the Midwest and The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is stressing the importance of safe driving when the weather turns ugly. The Mcdonoughvoice.com reported recently about IDOT’s effort to inform drivers about safety hazards and steps to take to protect yourself and other drivers.
First, it is important to be wary of snow plows and salt trucks on the road. IDOT spokesman Brian Williamson said 30 percent of the traffic crashes involving IDOT snow plows and salt trucks are caused by vehicles following too closely. “Slow down for yourselves and slow down for the folks who are trying to clear the roads; it just makes good sense,” said District 14 Trooper and Safety Education Officer Ed Howard
“Vehicle preparation is very important,” he said. “Make sure your windshield washer fluid is full and your wiper (blades are in good condition). Also, have a plan; let others know where you’re going and what route you’ll be taking.”
Howard said drivers should check all of the road condition hotlines for the areas they’ll be driving to.
He said District 14 gets frequent calls from the public asking about travel conditions.
Be careful out there, and if you can, take public transportation if it’s available for you. If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident , then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron Bryant , for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.
Winter is right around the corner and the Illinois Department of Transportation has issued a list of tips to help deal with the treacherous road ahead.
IDOT recommends your vehicle contain the following items this winter. These items should make your life easier and more importantly, much safer.
Your vehicle should be equipped with a winter emergency survival kit. The following items are recommended:
- Ice scraper, snow brush, rags and paper towels.
- Jumper cables, basic tool kit, antifreeze, no-freeze windshield washer fluid and extra drive belt(s).
- Shovel, traction mats or old rugs, tire chains, salt, cat box litter or sand.
- Blankets and extra clothing including hats, socks, waterproof boots, coats and gloves.
- Non-perishable, high-calorie food.
- Candles, waterproof matches and a metal container (coffee can) in which to melt snow into water.
- Flashlight with extra batteries, flares or roadway reflectors.
- A basic first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.
- A cellular telephone with a backup power source might be the single most important safety item available. A citizen’s band radio is a good alternative.
Have a fun and safe holiday season and be careful on the roads.
Should you or someone you know become involved in a car accident, truck accident or suffer from a personal injury, then call attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.