Driving in winter weather in Chicago comes with an increased risk of accident and injury due to the hazardous road conditions that are often out of your control.
While you may not be able to avoid the slick roads, decreased visibility and extreme temperatures, there are steps you can take to keep yourself safer when you are out on the road.
1. Keep up with regular maintenance
Get your vehicle serviced before the winter weather arrives. Make sure that your engine and battery are running smoothly and that your brakes and tires are in good condition. Regularly check that your lights and signals are working properly.
2. Prepare for each trip
Every time you drive your car in snowy weather, take the time to clear snow and ice from all windows, mirrors and lights. Give yourself a clear view of the road and give other vehicles their best chance to see you. Clear heavy snow from the hood of your vehicle so that it does not blow up and impair your vision as you drive.
3. Use caution on slick roads
Apply brakes firmly but slowly to prevent your car from losing control and sliding on the road. Leave extra room between vehicles so that you have more time to react to unexpected situations.
In case you ever get stuck in your car during extreme weather, keep a list of emergency numbers in your vehicle. Road flares or a flashing light you can put in your window will make your car more visible to others while you are stuck. Keep extra hats, gloves and blankets in your vehicle to help keep you warm in extreme temperatures as you wait for help.