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What Illinois drivers need to know about winter traffic risks

As temperatures drop across Illinois, traffic risks increase. The winter months see some of the most severe crashes that occur in Illinois. Factors outside of people’s control, including severe weather, generate increased risk for those on the road.

Some people joke that every driver in Illinois seems to forget how to safely drive in the snow each summer. It is beneficial for most motorists, even those with pristine safety records, to review the risks associated with winter driving to reduce their likelihood of causing a major crash. The following are some of the biggest safety concerns for those driving during the winter months in Illinois.

Severe winter weather

Snow, sleet and ice accumulating on the roads can cause crashes. Black ice can be particularly dangerous, as drivers may lose control of their vehicles or even spin on the ice. Severe weather can also reduce visibility during times of precipitation. Drivers, therefore, need to be proactive about vehicle maintenance. They may want to change out their tires or install new wiper blades. Carrying winter safety gear, including blankets and a snow shovel, can help those who become stranded during severe weather.

Many drivers will also change their daily schedules so that they have more time for their morning commute if weather worsens overnight. Getting up a bit earlier can make it easier for someone to slow down during times of inclement weather and still reach their destination on time. Increasing following distances is also a crucial safety move when winter weather affects driving conditions.

Reduced daylight hours

Many of the worst crashes in Illinois occur after the sun sets. Pedestrian crashes, in particular, are more likely to be fatal when they occur after dark. Unfortunately, there will be less light during the winter months. The sun may rise after someone goes into work in the morning and may have already set when they get done in the afternoon. People will find themselves on the road during dark times more frequently during the winter months. That reduction in daylight can also affect animal activity and lead to incidents involving deer and other wildlife.

If a collision occurs

Those involved in winter-weather collisions often need help when responding to a crash. Particularly if an individual suffers injuries or must care for a loved one hurt in a crash, they would likely benefit from having a lawyer support them. An attorney can handle communications with insurance providers, educate people about their rights and hope those involved in major collisions obtain the best possible outcome given the circumstances.

Ultimately, reviewing the most pressing winter driving safety concerns may help people reduce their crash risk and better respond to a collision caused by another driver if one occurs.