Winter driving is becoming more of a concern given the change of seasons and various recent snow and ice accumulations. Accidents have occurred, as seen in the various incidents including the “black ice” accidents that recently happened on the Dan Ryan Expressway and elsewhere in the Chicago area.
On November 20, 2017 the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a press release with regard to winter driving safety. The press release is titled “Preparation is Key: Winter Weather – Get it Together.”
Notable excerpts include:
Throughout the winter, especially during adverse conditions, motorists should practice basic winter driving skills and build extra time into their schedules.
The press release offers numerous tips. The first tip offered is to wear a seat belt. On this site, the many safety benefits of wearing a seat belt are discussed on the “Seat Belts As An Accident Injury Preventative Measure” page.
The other tips cover a range of actions. Another tips is to watch for “black ice.” Another excerpt from the press release:
“Winter weather causes extremely dangerous driving with black ice and white out conditions,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Plan ahead by checking your windshield wipers, vehicle fluid levels, proper tire inflation and tread depth. Remember to avoid unnecessary lane changes and as always, reduce your speed and increase following distances. Don’t crowd the plow. Give them room to work. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.”
For those who are unaware of “black ice” and its characteristics and effects on winter driving, “black ice” is a (very) thin coat of clear ice that forms over a road. The thin coat of ice is hazardous for various reasons, including that the resulting roadway surface is very slippery, and the ice can be very difficult to see, especially at night. In many instances a driver that drives over “black ice” will lose control of the vehicle which may lead to an accident with injuries.