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Tips for Illinois Drivers Navigating the Polar Vortex Weather Conditions

As many of you know, Chicago and many other parts of the Midwest are smack-dab in the middle of what meteorologists are calling a “polar vortex.” This term denotes the whirlpool or bitterly cold, dense air that has buried Chicago in more than a foot of snow, and has dropped wind chills to as low as minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit in some regions. This has caused schools all across Illinois to shut down, and officials are advising that residents do whatever they can to stay indoors and avoid the blistering cold. Still, our Chicago car accident lawyers know that for many people who have to go to work this morning, staying home just isn’t an option. That’s why we have come up with some winter driving tips to help you be as safe as you possibly can while making the slow trek to and from work this week. (Huffington Post)

Wherever you need to go, leave early-salt trucks and plows are working overtime this week to ensure that the roads are safe, but this is a slow and arduous process. Many Illinois roads are still covered in snow, and are dangerous to navigate. For this reason, give yourself ample time to get where your need to go slowly and safely.

Make sure you can see everything around your vehicle-Clean all of your windows and your windscreen before you get on the road. Winter conditions make navigating traffic hard enough, and this becomes nearly impossible with limited visibility.

More steering doesn’t mean more control-If a slick part of the road causes your front tires to lose traction, it is a natural reaction to try to correct yourself using the steering wheel, but this can actually make matters worse. If your car suddenly regains traction on another section of the road, your turned steering wheel could cause your vehicle to dart into another lane, causing an accident. Unfortunately, there is no good way to prevent your car from moving once it’s lost traction, but turning the wheel won’t help.

Brake early and often, and always maintain a safe following distance-Building on our concerns with traction, always brake early if you think you see a hazard, and maintain a safe following distance the compensate for a lesser ability to stop in snowy or icy conditions.

Watch out for black ice-This is one of the most important tips of all. Black ice can seemingly come out of nowhere, so always drive defensively. Remember that your eyes can deceive you.

We hope these tips will help keep you a little safer this week, but if you are injured in a car accident because of the actions of another, remember that adverse conditions are never an excuse for negligence or recklessness, and you may be entitled to compensation.