The Chicago Tribune recently reported on a late March snowstorm that wreaked havoc on early morning commuter traffic. Drivers may have been caught by surprise as temperatures in the area had climbed into the seventies just a week before, but unpredictable springtime weather is nothing new to Illinois. Three hazardous driving conditions that roll over from winter right into spring are slick roads, low visibility and driving recklessly or too fast for the road conditions. As a Chicago injury attorney may know, extreme shifts in weather in early spring require drivers to pay at least as much attention in March and April as they do in February.
Wet roads translate to slippery driving conditions. A report by the Federal Highway Administration states that 23 percent of all crashes that occur in a year in the U.S. are weather related. Of those, 74 percent, over 900,000 incidents, happen on wet pavement. Springtime slush and rain may make it tougher to get a grip on the road, increasing the chance of an accident.
Spring in Illinois may bring high winds, which may blow snow and dust over the roadways, decreasing visibility. Changing temperatures may produce foggy conditions, particularly in the early morning and at dusk. Fog increases the risk of collision with another vehicle by limiting what a driver may perceive in the road ahead. Ways to maximize a driver’s ability to see the road and be seen include the following:
- Keep headlights on at all times
- Use turn signals well in advance
- Use hazard lights when driving at reduced speeds
A Chicago injury attorney would say that it is also good practice to maintain headlights and replace old or worn windshield wipers to best prepare for potentially hazardous spring road conditions.
A previous post, Winter weather: Stay safe with these 4 tips, states that driving too fast or too close in wet or otherwise challenging weather limits the time a vehicle has to avoid an accident. This remains true in the transition from winter to spring, when mornings may still be icy. Holding to a safe and consistent speed may be the best way to sidestep a collision. It allows a driver the necessary time and space to react in the event of something unexpected.
Stay aware of the road
One of the best suggestions for keeping safe on the daily commute is to pay attention to how weather conditions are impacting traffic. Auto accidents may cause severe injury as well as financial and personal loss. A Chicago injury attorney may help attain just compensation in the event of a weather related auto accident.