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Evaluate the weather conditions carefully before leaving home

The lovely summer and fall weather are leaving the area, which means that the frigid weather is heading in. When you live in this part of Illinois, you can’t really get away from the snow. Even though the white covering is beautiful, it is actually a big hazard for people who are on the road.

Many people automatically assume that because they grew up here, they can drive without a problem when the snow hits. This misconception can make people too comfortable, which can lead to crashes because some drivers aren’t driving as safely as what they should.

Here are some points to consider about driving in the greater Chicagoland area this winter:

Evaluate the weather and road conditions

The snow forecast and the road conditions are a factor that you must consider when you are thinking about leaving home. There are some errands and trips that can’t be avoided. When the weather forecast is calling for considerable snow or if the road conditions are horrendous, you should consider trying to stay home. If you can’t do this, make sure that you allow plenty of time to get to your destination and utilize proper driving safety.

Make sure your car is ready

A vehicle that doesn’t have good brakes and tires isn’t going to be safe on snowy roads. While it might not help much on icy roads, your tires need a tread depth of at least 6/32 to grip on a snowy road. The deeper the tread, the better traction your vehicle will have. On top of making sure you have good tires and brakes, you need to check the windshield wipers and fluid. Having a de-icing fluid and wipers that can handle falling snow can help you to see in the wintry weather.

Prepare for challenges while driving

Driving on the slick winter roads means that you need to know how to brake, control a skid, turn and accelerate. Braking and accelerating will take more time so be sure you aren’t trying to slam on your brakes at the last minute or trying to beat another vehicle. When you skid, you need to take your foot off the accelerator, but don’t apply the brake. Your goal is to steer into the skid until you are able to control the car again. Turning takes more distance on snow than on dry pavement. You also need to take the snow banks on the side of the road into account when deciding how to execute a turn.

Even when the snow plows and salt trucks are out, the roads are still very dangerous. If you are struck by another driver, you might need medical care and may opt to seek compensation for your injuries.