Chicagoland Driving Tips for the Upcoming Winter

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

Welcome to the wonderful, weather-dictated City of Chicago. Soon, the first snow will fall. Yes, roads will become icy, at times, roads may be treacherous in the blink of an eye, even for experienced or professional drivers. Adapting one’s driving style and preparing their vehicle for this type of weather will assist any driver in conquering the unpredictability of not only urban streets, but also rural roads and highways.

Here are some tips to help prepare you, your family, and your vehicle for the upcoming winter season:

  • Slow down. It may seem obvious to more experienced drivers, but the easiest way to maintain safety on the winter road is to slow down. Traveling at a slower speed provides more time to react to circumstances around you.
  • Increase the distance between your vehicle and others: When you increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, it provides more time to react to situations on the road, such as black ice or other unforeseeable conditions.
  • When roadways get wet or icy, they also become slippery. Decreasing your speed on wet or icy pavement is a safe way to navigate one’s winter travels.
  • There is a plethora of apps that can assist you with your route. Figure out your route prior to departure. Make sure you plan your driving route before hitting the road so you can navigate around accidents, road closures, or other weather-related situations.
  • Check your tire pressure. Let’s face it, in Chicago, one can expect drastic drops in temperature which can cause your tires to lose air. Make sure to inflate your tires to the proper pressure noted in your vehicle’s manual. Similarly, as icy roads and potholes are the enemies of tires in the wintertime, check your tires regularly. Too many of us take tire pressure for granted, and it can eventually impact traction on the roadway.
  • Gas up! It sounds simple, but make sure you proceed in “iffy” weather with a full tank of gas. You never know what is going to happen along the roads, especially on long trips.
  • This is a pet peeve of my son, who is a driver: check or replace wiper blades. It is a non-issue to him. Effective wiper blades are a key component of safe winter driving. Therefore, not only fill up your vehicle with windshield wiper fluid, but also make sure the wipers are working properly.
  • This sounds childish, but make sure to have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle comes in handy when the unexpected occurs. During the wintertime, it is imperative that you have the following items in your vehicle:
    • Jumper cables
    • Flashlight
    • Windshield wiper fluid
    • Ice scraper
    • Blanket or warm clothes, including a coat and gloves.

The car accident attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll work hard in representing victims of car accidents in and throughout the Chicagoland area. We have the experience to help you obtain justice. If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, call us at (312) 761-5585.