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Prepare for winter road conditions to minimize the risk of accidents

Winter driving season is upon us, which means it's time for an uptick in motor vehicle accidents caused by poor visibility and slick, icy roads. Driving in Midwest winters can be scary and hazardous, especially when compounded with heavy holiday traffic.

Fortunately, you can do a lot to stay safe on the road before you even buckle your seat belt. Taking some time to adequately prepare for winter can not only prevent accidents, but put you in a position to weather them better if they occur.

Make sure you maintain your car by keeping your windows clean, your no-freeze wiper fluid stocked and your battery charged. In addition, make sure you have some essentials in your car at all times:

  • antifreeze
  • flashlight
  • jumper cables
  • shovel
  • snow brush and ice scraper
  • warning devices, such as flares
  • blankets
  • food, water and medicine for long trips

Plan your route in advance, making sure to check the weather and allow extra time for dicey conditions if necessary. Be familiar with your route and let someone else know the route you are taking and when you expect to arrive at your destination.

It may sound silly, but even experienced drivers can benefit from a little bit of practice for winter driving. During daylight, practice moves on ice or snow to get a feel for how your car reacts to the conditions and how much you need to adjust your driving. Keep in mind that you should steer into a skid and allow more distance for your car to stop on slick ice or snow.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving dangerous road conditions or someone else's negligence, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney. They may help you investigate the accident, build your case and seek compensation for your injuries.

Source: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Safe Winter Driving"

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

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Wheaton, IL 60187

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