Now that winter is here, you might be among many Illinois residents who worry about the kind of weather we will face this season. This might be especially true if you were in a car accident or a close call last year. Winter is the most dangerous time of year for drivers in states where it snows, because of slippery road conditions and poor visibility. You can significantly cut your risk of a weather-related crash this winter by knowing what to expect and how to drive in adverse conditions.
About 22 percent of all car accidents across the country are due to weather, reports Esurance. The most hazardous conditions you might face in cold weather include snow, slush and ice. Black ice is especially dangerous because you might not know it is there until it is too late. Black ice often looks like a patch of shadow or a bit of wet pavement. You would expect ice to be shiny, but black ice is usually matte, and it is extremely slick. You can prepare for black ice by knowing that it often forms under bridges or overpasses, in shaded areas and late at night or before sunrise.
You might avoid a weather-related accident by taking the following precautions:
- If your vehicle starts to skid, let go of the gas and steer into the direction of the slide.
- Always reduce your speed in poor weather or when snow and ice are present on the roads.
- Leave early to give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
- Give other vehicles enough following distance so you have plenty of time to stop.
Winter weather makes driving more dangerous for all of us, but you do not have to avoid driving altogether. By driving courteously and with extra caution, you may improve safety for yourself and others.