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5 Tips for Staying Safe on the Icy, Congested Roads This Holiday Season

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Grundy County car accident lawyersFor many people, the holidays mean traveling to visit close friends or extended family. Consequently, this is the time of year when roads are often the worst. Keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season using the following five tips for  driving on icy, congested roads. Also learn where to turn for help if an auto accident does occur.

1. Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather 

Driving on roads that are slick or icy is very different from driving on the dry pavement. Your tires, which usually grip the road, need good traction, possibly even chains, to ensure that your vehicle does not slide around on the ice, slush, water, or snow. Cold weather can also kill a vehicle's battery, so make sure yours is checked before heading out this holiday season. Check fluids, install new windshield wipers (if necessary), and ensure your gas tank stays half full whenever it must be parked on your trip (i.e. staying the night in a hotel).

2. Plan Your Route and Departure Ahead of Time

As the holidays draw nearer, you may want to start paying attention to the weather to plan both your route and departure. Ideally, you would make your departure at a time that allows you to completely bypass any severe weather, but if avoiding snow and other poor weather conditions is impossible, plan your route carefully. Try to avoid areas that may be hit with the worst of the storm, and maybe even be willing to drive a little out of your way if it can keep you and your family safe.

3. Drive Safe and Slow in Poor Weather Conditions 

While it is always important to drive safely, poor weather conditions increase the need for care and diligence on the road. Increase your following distance to accommodate for slower stop times, give yourself extra time to stop or turn (but avoid doing both whenever possible), and avoid making any sudden, jerky movements while driving. If the conditions are slick or wet, slow down a little as well, as faster traveling can increase your chances of hydroplaning or sliding out of control on ice or slush.

4. Pull Over if Driving Becomes Dangerous 

If you find yourself driving in conditions that are worse than expected, play it safe and simply pull over, out of the danger zone. While, yes, it may be inconvenient to delay your arrival time, it is far better to avoid an accident whenever possible.

5. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

No matter how much you plan and prepare, the risk of an accident or needing to stop are still higher in the ice and snow. Be prepared by keeping an emergency kit in your car. Include things like food and water if you will be traveling a long distance, and keep extra clothes and blankets in your vehicle, in case you are stuck and cannot start your car. Your emergency kit should also include everything you need in the event of an injury (i.e. first aid kit, a cell phone with good service, etc.), as well as supplies that you may need if you get stranded, have a minor slide, or pull off the road and get buried. Examples might include cat litter, a shovel, and bright clothing to tie to your car so that you can be seen.

If a Crash Occurs, Contact Our Joliet Auto Accident Injury Lawyers for Help

Accidents during the holidays increase, not just because of road conditions, but also because there are often more drivers on the road. Know how to handle a crash - not just in the moment, but in the weeks and months that follow. Contact our Joliet car crash attorneys and increase your chances of a full and favorable settlement in your personal injury case. Call 815-666-1285 today.


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