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Safety Tips for Operating a Motor Vehicle Through a Chicago Winter

Posted on in Personal Injury

Illinois personal injury attorneysAt the Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we understand that a motor vehicle accident can happen to any person, at any given time. Regardless of your actions, a personal injury may result due to another individual’s negligence. Even if inclement weather conditions caused a car crash to happen, the driver may still be liable for the resulting damages and injuries. While factors such as rain, wind, sleet, ice, and snow may lead to a driver wanting to avoid the road, that might not always be possible. Driving in Chicago can already be a stressful scenario for many motorists; it is important to take extra precaution and remember these tips before driving in the winter: 

Prepare for Ice

Winter car accidents are commonly linked to vehicles sliding on icy roads. Throughout the city, ice can be prevalent and lead to devastating damage and injuries for both motorists and pedestrians. 

In an effort to avoid sliding on ice, motorists should:

  • Understand the danger of the situation
  • Reduce speed and gradually ease off the accelerator
  • Avoid icy roads if possible
  • Refrain from tailgating
  • Prepare for longer commutes 

Situations may also arise where ice might not be visible to a motorist. For example, black ice forms on road surfaces and gives the illusion of a wet spot on the pavement. Although it may be difficult to spot, context clues can help a driver prepare for this situation. If the temperature is below freezing, a motorist can assume that a puddle of water would freeze into ice. Furthermore, signs such as skid marks or surrounding damage can be good indicators. It is important for a driver to be aware of his or her surroundings when behind the wheel. 

Understand How to Brake

Congested roads, numerous pedestrians, and frequent traffic stops can all lead to a motorist in the city regularly using his or her brakes. If ice is extensive, stopping in time may be impossible. When a car begins to slide, the driver may be wondering what he or she should do. For cars that have anti-lock brakes (ABS), the motorist should never pump his or her brakes in slippery conditions. Although ABS should prohibit tires from locking, this might not always happen. The act of brake pumping would cause the stopping process to take longer. instead, a driver should firmly hold his or her foot on the pedal while the vehicle comes to a complete stop.  

Steer With a Skid

If a motorist does happen to drive over a patch of ice too quickly, he or she could lose control of their vehicle. When a car begins to skid, the driver should remain calm and address the situation. To try and limit or avoid any potential damage, the vehicle operator should reduce his or her speed, avoid using the brakes, and gently steer into the slide. If the vehicle starts to turn in the opposite direction, the driver should repeat the same steps.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident can leave a victim with damaged property and serious medical bills. If you or a loved one has suffered because of another person's reckless driving, compensation may be owed. At the Livas Law Group, our dedicated Illinois car accident lawyers can help you hold the negligent party accountable for his or her actions. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 312-804-6102.   

 

Sources:

http://www.mazdaoflodi.com/blog/what-to-do-if-your-car-slides-on-ice/

https://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/brakes/brake-types/anti-lock-brake3.htm

http://blog.pekininsurance.com/individual/tips-for-driving-on-black-ice

https://www.wagnerbrake.com/parts-matter/driver-education-and-vehicle-safety/how-to-brake-in-winter-weather.html

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