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No matter how warm and sunny the weather is in Illinois, eventually, the weather turns cold, and the snow flies. The best time to prepare your car or truck for winter is before the bad weather hits. Then, when your car or truck is ready for snow and ice, you have a better chance of avoiding accidents.

Below are critical tips for winter weather accident preparation to keep you and yours safe. Contact our Palatine car accident attorneys at Claim Your Justice for legal assistance if you are in a car or truck accident with injuries.

Why Prepare Your Car or Truck For Winter?

The Federal Highway Administration reports that at least 1,000 people die on icy or snowy roads in car accidents. In addition, approximately 25% of all weather-related car accidents happen on snowy and icy streets. This means that at least 70% of all American roads are in snowy parts of the country, and 70% of our population lives in these regions.

In addition, Illinois has had approximately 287,000 winter car or truck wrecks since 2006. There are 28,000 winter car or truck accidents per year in the state, as well. That is a lot of accidents, so having your car or truck ready for winter is a smart bet.

Check Your Tires

There is no doubt about it: The most critical winter weather accident preparation tip is to check those tires. Bald tires and icy, snowy Illinois roads do not go together. Slick tires make it harder to stop and reduce your car’s stability on wet roads.

Most states have a minimum tread depth standard of 2/32”. However, tire tests show that traction falls off dramatically when your tires have less than 4/32” of the tread. Many drivers try to squeak by in winter on slick tires, but you are taking a significant risk and can suffer a serious injury. Sliding and smacking a curb at only five miles per hour can cause at least $1,500 in damage.

If your tires are marginal, you should always replace them before winter hits. Sure, everyone wants to save money. But driving around on bald tires on wet, snowy and icy Illinois roads can get you in a nasty car accident.

Consider Winter Tires

Tires are vital to driving safety. So, if your area is snowy and hilly, consider winter tires to keep you on the road and moving. Many vehicle safety systems are useless without winter tires in heavy snow and ice.

Winter tires offer superior stopping distances, added traction, and clear the way through that heavy snow and slush. In addition, a winter tire always provides the best grip when the winter weather is the worst.

Replace The Windshield Wipers

Changing your windshield wipers every 6 to 12 months is always advisable. If you notice streaks on the windows, you should replace them. Many drivers do not realize how hazardous it is to have old windshield wipers in lousy weather. Poor visibility leads to many car and truck accidents.

Replacing windshield wipers is fast and inexpensive, so put it at the top of your winter weather accident preparation checklist! Also, top off your windshield wiper fluid. Illinois roads are often covered with snow, slush, and road salt. Keep your windshield clean for the best visibility.

Prepare A Car Emergency Kit

Whether it is an accident or you are snowed in, it is always prudent to assemble an emergency kit before winter hits. Put these items in your car or truck when the weather turns cold:

  • Blanket
  • Boots and gloves
  • Food, water, and candles
  • Ice scraper
  • Small snow shovel
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • First-aid kit
  • Sand, salt, or kitty litter for extra traction

Check The Battery

Cold Illinois winters can be tough on your car battery. First, batteries tend to die because of the extra strain the cold weather puts on them. Also, because of thicker motor oil, car engines must do more work in cold weather.

Have an automotive parts store check your car or truck battery every winter. Make sure there is not any corrosion on the positive or negative terminals. A reputable car care professional can tell you if the battery needs to be replaced.

Check The Cooling System

It is recommended to flush and refill the radiator every year. Also, check the coolant level and concentration before winter starts. The standard recommendation is 50/50 antifreeze and water.

Check The Brakes

If your brakes squeak, get them checked before the snow flies. Winter has many wet and icy days, leading to rust that can damage the brake pads and rotors. Also, salted streets are hard on car and truck brakes.

Many car experts say drivers should have the brakes checked before and after winter. We all use our brakes heavily in lousy weather, so it is always wise to ensure they are in peak condition.

Remember, you can avoid many car accidents by never slamming on the brakes on a wet road. Today’s vehicles are equipped with anti-lock brakes, so steady pressure is the way to go. Hitting the brakes too hard can cause a skid and a severe auto accident.

Carry Glycerin In The Trunk

This is for unfreezing door locks, which can be a significant problem in freezing weather. It can break off if you try to force the door open with a standard key. Glycerin is quite effective for deicing and can be found in any auto parts store.

Check The Vehicle Exterior

You should check the outside of the vehicle to ensure the headlights and other lights are working. Many automotive experts recommend cleaning the exterior light lenses annually. Replace any brake lights that are burned out.

Keep The Gas Tank Full

You should always have a full tank of gas when driving in the winter. If there is too much space in the gas tank, moisture accumulates. This will dilute the gasoline and stress your car’s motor and pumps. In addition, if the moisture freezes, it can cause severe damage. Keeping a full tank also reduces the chances of being stranded in freezing weather.

Check The Tire Pressure

It is vital to keep track of tire pressure when temperatures plunge. Tire pressure drops dramatically with air temperature. You can lose as much as 1 PSI with every 10-degree loss of temperature.

Driving around on wet roads with low tire pressure will wear the tires out faster. It can even cause tread separation in a car accident. Further, tires do not perform as predictably when they are under-inflated.

If you check tire pressure and find at least one is low, get them filled for free at a gas station. Then, when the weather warms in spring, let a pound or two of air out.

Car Accident Liability In Snow Or Black Ice

Keeping your car or truck in top condition when winter weather hits reduces your chances of an accident. However, what happens if you are in a crash in snow or on black ice? Who is to blame?

Car and truck accidents due to black ice or snow usually involve several vehicles and severe injuries. This means several crash investigations and auto insurance policies. This is why when you are injured in an accident you should call the injury attorneys at https://claimyourjustice.com This situation is where you want to have a Palatine car accident lawyer representing your interests. We know how to investigate your injury case and then negotiate with insurance companies, especially when liability is uncertain.

Everything depends on the details of the winter accident. For example, if another car slid on black ice and slammed into you at a stop light, you may get compensation from your policy’s personal injury protection. Or, your attorney may file a claim with the other driver’s policy.

Many drivers are shocked to discover they still may be liable if they are in a car accident during a blizzard. Of course, your insurance should take care of the problem if it is a single-vehicle accident. But when you slide into another car, you cannot blame the weather. We all have a legal obligation to drive safely in all conditions.

Some drivers argue they should not be liable if they lose control in the snow. However, every driver knows the risks of driving in snow and ice. Illinois law requires you to drive safely no matter what. Fortunately, having your car in tip-top shape as winter approaches reduces your odds of a fender bender or worse.

Contact Our Palatine Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you have been in a severe car accident, you could have thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills you cannot pay. Perhaps you cannot work and are disfigured or in substantial pain from the accident. How will you recover and survive financially? There is help available.

Our Palatine car accident lawyers fight tirelessly for our clients’ legal and financial rights. As a result, we regularly win impressive recoveries for car and truck accident victims in Illinois. Whether you have a back injury, head trauma, or broken bones, we can get you the compensation you need to regain your health.

Claim Your Justice attorneys also serve the communities of Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Arlington Heights, and Oak Streamwood and clients in Wisconsin, and Kentucky. Please contact Claim Your Justice at (847) 434-3555 to receive justice in your car or truck accident case.

Disclaimer

This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an Attorney-Client relationship. An Attorney-Client relationship is created when you sign a written agreement with our law firm. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an Attorney-Client relationship has been established.

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