As winter gears up, driving becomes more treacherous. To ease the transition into the icy season, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police have launched a safe-driving campaign called "Ice and Snow - Take It Slow."
Illinois car accidents can cause severe injuries, in addition to financial difficulties that may arise from the accident. The "Ice and Snow - Take It Slow" campaign offers tips that could help keep you and your family safe in Illinois' frigid winter conditions.
According to IDOT, winter drivers should:
- Plan the trip in advance, including considering whether the trip is truly necessary. If it is, check the weather on the route and tell someone where you are going.
- Ensure the vehicle is ready for winter. This means keeping up with required maintenance and checking whether items like windshield wipers, lights, tires and fluids need to be replaced.
- Pack a survival kit that includes blankets and warm clothing; snow-removal tools; a cell phone and a flashlight, both with extra batteries; high-calorie, nonperishable food and a metal can for melting snow; a shovel and something to provide traction, like sand or cat litter; and a first-aid kit.
- Follow winter-driving rules such as driving slowly on the ice; braking early when approaching intersections; giving snow plows plenty of room and not passing them when visibility is poor; and keeping all windows free of ice and snow. And, of course, you should buckle your seatbelt no matter what the season.
- Use common sense when stranded. Do not make the decision to walk if you are not dressed for cold weather; pull over as far as possible on the side of the road; turn on your hazard lights and open your hood; turn on the engine just occasionally; to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, crack open a downwind window and ensure that the exhaust pipe is not blocked; call or signal for assistance.
Following IDOT's suggestions for Illinois winter driving could mean the difference between making it home safely and facing the cold without protection.
Source: IDOT, Ice and Snow...Take It Slow...