The winter weather across Illinois and surrounding states has already contributed to multiple serious car accidents this year. People are slipping, getting stuck, losing control of their cars and crashing into people and objects because of ice and snow. In fact, Illinois ranks as one of the deadliest states for winter weather driving.
However, despite the powerful impact Mother Nature has on our driving, there are steps individuals can take to stay safe and avoid crashes caused by bad roads and weather.
Focus on visibility
Being able to see and be seen is crucial in staying safe on the roads during the winter. Good visibility can prevent a host of accidents, including pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions. As such, be sure you can see others and can be seen by others on the road. To do so, you should:
- Wear reflective clothing if you are a pedestrian or cyclist
- Make sure all your lights work, including your brake lights and turn signals
- Clear your vehicle of all snow and ice, including the top of your vehicle
- Remove any obstruction in your car that prevents you from seeing out of your windows or mirrors
It can be frustrating when traffic is slow due to weather. But trying to race around people or following others too closely can spell disaster in the winter. In fact, the difference between getting in a crash and getting home safely could come down to a single act of aggression or impatience. To avoid this:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going
- Give other drivers more space
- Obey speed limits, and drive only as fast as the road conditions will allow
- Stop at all stop lights and stop signs and check your surroundings thoroughly
Have the proper tools
If you must head out in bad weather, snow or freezing temperatures, make sure you have the proper tools to stay safe. This includes:
- First aid kits
- A snow brush and ice scraper
- Sand or cat litter
- A charged cellphone to call for help
These simple steps can prevent serious accidents from happening and make it easier for everyone to stay safe.