Winter is in full swing in Chicago and it is time to once again remind ourselves that winter driving can be dangerous and scary. Below are some safety tips to help prevent auto accidents and injuries.
Do you know the three P’s of safe winter driving?
PREPARE. PROTECT. PREVENT.
PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP
- Battery – Does the battery have enough power to start your vehicle engine during the cold weather? The only way to know is to test the battery. Most auto parts stores will test your battery for free. Take the time to have your battery tested for peace of mind.
- Tire tread – Vehicle traction and mobility is reduced when tread depth is insufficient. It is recommended to replace tires when only 5/32” of tread remains.
- Windshield wipers – Better Wipers = Better Visibility. Wiper blades made specifically for winter conditions are encased in a protective rubber shell that prevents ice and snow from building up on the wipers.
- Windows – Keep the windows clear. Remove snow from ALL windows, side mirrors, headlights, taillights and turn signals. Use the smooth side of an ice scraper to remove frost (a credit card or CD can be used if no scraper is available). The ridged side of the scraper should be used to remove ice.
- Washer reservoir – Washer fluid can freeze and burst hoses. Use only winter blends of washer solvent to keep the washer fluid from freezing. Do not add antifreeze to your washer fluid. Antifreeze can damage the paint on your vehicle.
- Antifreeze – If your vehicle’s antifreeze is not at the proper level, water can freeze your engine and cause serious damage. A 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water will prevent freezing. Pressure testing will expose any minor leaks before the leak gets worse. Antifreeze testers are available are most auto parts stores to test the mixture and most repair shops charge a small fee to test the pressure (some shops may test the pressure for free).
- Jumper cables
- Abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, floor mats – to help with traction)
- Snow brush
- Ice scraper
- Warning devices (flares)
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
Plan Your Route
- Allow plenty of time (leave early if necessary)
- Check the weather
- Communicate your route and arrival time to others (this will help others locate you if you have an emergency)
Practice Cold Weather Driving
- Find an empty lot and practice handling your car on ice or snow
- Remember to steer INTO a skid
- STOMP on anti-lock brakes
- PUMP on non-anti-lock brakes
- Allow greater stopping distance in ice and snow
- Don’t leave the windows up if you are idling for a long time
- SLOW DOWN AND DRIVE SAFELY
PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES
- Use seat-belts and child safety seats
- Make sure child safety seats are properly installed
- Never place a rear-facing infant in front of an air bag
- Seat children under 12 in the back seat of the vehicle
- Never drink and drive
- Never use drugs or certain medications while driving
- Slow down
- Increase car distance
- Watch for pedestrians
- Never drive drowsy
- Designate a sober driver if you plan to drink
Be safe this winter season and remember to enjoy time with family and friends.
I am a Chicago Car Accident Attorney who truly cares about my clients and their well-being.
Call me anytime 24/7 for a free case evaluation on your case at 312-375-6524.