Chicagoans are used to all types of weather – sometimes even all in the same day. While the winter weather is enjoyable for many aspects, driving in bad weather can be very dangerous. First are foremost, if you can avoid it, do not drive. If snowing, allow for roads to be cleared and properly salted by snowplows.
If you do decide to drive or are caught in bad driving conditions, practice safe driving techniques.
1. Always be prepared for all weather conditions. Have a flashlight, first aid kit, ice scraper, spare tire, jumper cables, and at least half a tank of gas in the car at all times. Carry food, water, extra blankets, and layers of clothing in case of emergency.
2. Check your vehicle, and spare tire, for proper functionality before heading out on longer trips.
3. Stay distant. In bad weather conditions, there should be three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Leave yourself a lot of room to stop.
4. Decrease your speed accordingly. Slow down so it is easier to react quickly to sudden changes in the road, another car, or unexpected driving conditions.
5. Keep your lights on, and clean, to stay visible to other drivers.
6. Have a firm grip on your steering wheel, and refrain from using cruise control.
7. Refrain from slamming on the brake. Gently press on your brake to avoid skidding.
8. Be careful of black ice. Roads less traveled, bridges, and overpasses are more likely to form black ice.
9. Follow and obey all road and traffic signs.
10. Keep your eyes on the road. Do not use cell phones or other distracting devices.
For more information about driving safely in bad weather conditions, click here.
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