The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that some types of road conditions have stronger correlations to male drivers than female drivers, and vice versa. A study by Purdue University showed that “men over age 45 are much more likely to crash their vehicles on icy and snowy roads.” When further studying if the type of vehicle played a role, the study saw that older men who drive pickup trucks have an even greater risk of crashes in winter weather. This might be because pickup truck and SUV drivers typically have four-wheel drive, which makes it easier to accelerate in bad driving conditions, but four-wheel drive does not make it easier to stop quickly. The study also reported that men who are under 45 years of age have a greater chance of being involved in serious accidents that are on dry, non-slick, roads. This could be because they are overconfident or cocky on these roads.
When examining female drivers, the study showed that all ages of women “lose control and crash on rain-slicked roads most often because of their failure to sense reduced friction of wet pavement.” A civil engineer who conducted the study believes that this is because women do not change their speed, regardless of if the pavement is wet or dry. Because there is reduced friction of wet road, the lack of change in speed doesn’t balance the reduced friction. However, women have a decreased risk of crashes when it is snowing.
With bad winter weather fast approaching, our Chicago car accident lawyers thought it would be beneficial to discuss tips for how to drive in certain weather and road conditions to avoid an accident or serious injury. Cartalk.com provides a winter driving checklist that can prove beneficial for all drivers. Before driving in winter conditions, it is important to check the battery, coolant, wipers, defrosters, and get an overall tune-up. Make sure that the gas tank is always at least 2/3 full of gasoline to prevent freezing, add a block heater to the car, get snow tires, have emergency supplies, have a phone in the car, and most importantly, drive slowly and cautiously. The Illinois State Police suggest that winter weather drivers:
• Plan their route before travel, making sure they know of alternative routes as well • Let someone know that they are traveling in these weather conditions • Check weather information on the radio • Travel with company • Travel in a convoy
• Drive defensively • Be alert and aware of black ice, ice patches, and bridge conditions • If a storm arises, pull off of the road and seek shelter • If your car breaks down in bad weather stay inside the car, running the engine and heater for quick intervals, but make sure to open a window a crack to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.
Our Illinois accident attorneys hope that when travelling this winter, our readers will drive slowly and cautiously to avoid a serious accident. Even when it is not snowing, there is always a risk for ice or black ice. If the weather is really bad, we suggest avoiding driving altogether, but are aware that sometimes it is necessary, so use caution and stay in communication with loved ones throughout your travels. We hope that all of our readers have a safe and happy holiday season and.