Troopers Encourage Motorists to Drive with Caution in Winter Weather

The holiday season has arrived. And with it comes winter weather which can cause road conditions to deteriorate, sometimes very quickly. The Illinois State Police are encouraging motorists to be extra cautious when taking to winter roads. Paying attention to weather reports, leaving extra time for travel and keeping a safe distance from the car in front are just a couple of the tips offered by Trooper Brent Massingill, Safety Education Officer for Illinois State Police District 16 in an interview with the Journal-Standard.

“It is important to slow down during bad weather,” said Massingill. “In a lot of cases, an accident happens because of speed and people think it’s the speed limit but it’s related to conditions of the road. To reduce the chance of being in an accident, people need to be alert. They spend a lot of time in their vehicles and let their mind wander. When the weather gets bad, your mind needs to be on the task of driving.”

The State Police offer drivers the following winter driving tips:

  • Don’t crowd the plow because snowplow drivers need room to operate and they may not see your vehicle on the road.
  • Be aware of black ice because roads appearing clear may be treacherous and intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas can be particularly dangerous.
  • Keep your gas tank full because fuel lines can freeze when tanks are less than two-thirds full.
  • Dress appropriately and always be prepared for unexpected winter weather by dressing in loose-fitting, lightweight clothes.
  • Make someone aware of your travel plans and carry a cell phone so that in the case of an emergency, people will know that there is a problem.
  • Put an emergency road kit in your car. It should include jumper cables, flares, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit.
  • Always buckle up. If an accident occurs, a safety belt can save your life.

Troopers also advise that if you are in an accident, make sure you exchange insurance and driver information with the other driver and if no medical attention is needed, it’s not necessary to call the police. This will help avoid using police resources in bad weather and also keeps roadways clear.

If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, you need to contact an Illinois personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to because of the other driver’s recklessness.

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