The winter holidays are especially dangerous for drivers, because the weather means dealing with cold, snow, and ice. Traffic is often heavy due to many shoppers on the roads. New Year’s Eve can cause many to drink and drive. But a careless mistake can affect your ability to enjoy buying gifts, attending parties, and spending time with family and friends this holiday season. Just one car accident can put you in the hospital for the holidays, or could leave you responsible for the injuries of someone else. Know that our experienced Chicago car accident lawyers are ready to protect you when you have been nice, but other drivers have been naughty.
Precautions for Chicago holiday drivers
There is no such thing as being too careful when it comes to driving in Chicago in the wintertime. Some winter weather safe-driving suggestions are:
- Do not drink and drive. Just one drink can cause you to lose control of your vehicle by making you tired and by slowing down your ability to react to emergencies. If you are attending holiday parties which require you to drive to get there, use a designated driver or try the ice tea instead of the hard liquor.
- Clear ice and snow from your car. It only takes a few extra minutes to remove ice and snow from your windshield, rear window, and side windows. Be sure to clean your lights. Let your front and rear defrosters do their job before you start to drive. Make sure your windshield wipers work.
- Go slowly. As snow, slush, dirt, and ice accumulate on roads, the roads become much slicker. Slippery roads require more stopping time. It is better to go slow so your wheels get better traction. Consider driving in a lower gear.
- Use your seatbelt. It can be tempting to skip the seatbelt when you have a bulky jacket on. However, wearing a seatbelt can save your life.
- Do not drive while distracted. Listen to your GPS system but do not look at it while you are driving. Sip that hot coffee when you are stopped. Do not text your friends that you will be there soon while you are in the car. Pull over if you have to text or call.
- Know your routes. Winter weather can cause detours and car accidents. Know what alternate routes are available if your path is blocked.
- Look out for hazards and emergencies. Winter roads often have lots of potholes when they are clear. They are treacherous when they have snow and ice. Emergency vehicles often go much slower than other vehicles.
- Have an emergency kit. This includes shovels, salt, ice scrapers, blankets, flares, flashlights, water, and windshield washer fluid.
You should also inspect your tires to make sure they have the right tread and the correct pressure.
The best way to enjoy the holidays is with friends, not with medical staff. At Gainsberg Law P.C., our Chicago accident lawyers are dedicated to helping accident victims get justice for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. If you are involved in a winter crash, please phone us at 312-600-9585 or complete out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent accident victims on contingency fee basis.