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Tips for driving during a whiteout

You’re driving home from work or school or running errands in a gentle winter snowfall. Then suddenly, the snowfall becomes a blizzard. Next thing you know, you’re driving in whiteout conditions.

If you can’t pull over safely and wait it out or you just want to power through to your destination, there are things you can do to avoid a crash. Following are a few tips from law enforcement officials and safety experts for driving in a whiteout:

Drive slowly and deliberately. Stay under the posted speed limit and don’t make any sudden moves. If you need to brake, accelerate or turn, do so slowly.

Put extra space between yourself and the car ahead. Keep at least several car lengths between you and the car in front of you. Look even further ahead to check for sudden braking or other factors that might require you to perform evasive maneuvers in slick conditions.

Use the proper lights. Turn on your fog lights or low beams to better see the road ahead without the lights shining directly on the snow. Put on your hazard lights so that drivers in back of you can see you.

Keep your windshield, windows and mirrors as clear as possible. Use your defoggers and scrape and brush all ice and snow off before setting out.

Reduce distractions. This isn’t the time to call your family to tell them you’ll be late. Focus all your attention on driving.

If you are hit by another driver during a whiteout or other weather event, don’t assume that because that person’s ability to drive was compromised by the weather, they have no liability for the crash. Drivers have a responsibility to adjust their driving habits to accommodate inclement weather — from blizzards to rainstorms to gusty winds. It’s wise to consult an Illinois attorney to learn about your options for seeking compensation to cover medical bills, damages and other expenses after a crash.