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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Avoid Accidents During El Nino With These Car Care Tips

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Every few years the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean along the equator warm up, an event known as El Nino. These rising temperatures change wind patterns, influencing weather across the globe. That is how warmer waters near South America impact winter in Chicago.

An El Nino year tends to lead to milder winters in Illinois. The 2015-16 El Nino occurrence is rated as “very strong,” with waters running between two to six degrees above normal. Illinois is expected to have slightly warmer temperatures than normal throughout the winter months (though this does not feel much better when temperatures are often below freezing). However, with El Nina factors involved, you can still anticipate a good deal of snow.

Unfortunately, no matter the daily temperature, winter in Chicago always brings with it hazardous driving conditions and an increased risk of accidents. If you or a loved one are injured during a winter driving crash, contact a attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Call today at (312) 236-2900.

Car Care Tips That Could Lower Your Risk of an Accident

Heading into January, it is important to review the recent maintenance on your vehicle. It is all too easy to let certain things slip during the summer when the weather is great and you are not worried about getting stuck on the side of the road in a snow storm. However, once this fear is more likely to become reality, you need to prepare. When you know you will be doing a great deal of driving during winter weather, you should:

  • Inspect your tires. When it snows or the pavement is wet, having healthy tires may be what stands between a safe journey and a devastating accident. You should never take well-maintained tires for granted. You should look at the depth of the treads on all four of your tires. If any of the tires have treads that have worn down too far or are particularly uneven, it is time for new tires. Many mechanics recommend you change all four tires at once, and if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle, this is a necessity. However, if you are restrained by your budget, you can purchase new tires in pairs.
  • Buy new windshield wipers and top off washer fluid. Unless you have purchased new wipers in the past year, it is probably time for a new pair. Windshield wipers can become brittle with age and then they are more likely to tear or break. During the winter, you need strong blades to ensure you keep your windshield clear. Also, make sure your windshield wiper fluid is clear. You may use it often this winter, so keep some extra in the trunk.
  • Take your vehicle in for an oil change. Are you up to date on your oil changes? Many drivers go too long between them, which can result in poor vehicle maintenance. Unless you have had an oil change recently, you should take your vehicle in or change your oil yourself. Also, talk with your mechanic about using a more winter-appropriate oil.
  • Have a mechanic inspect your hoses, belts, and fluids. Some things you can easily do yourself, like changing your oil or adding windshield wiper fluid. However, performing a thorough inspection of your vehicle’s hoses, belts, and fluids takes time and expertise. If it has been a while since your car saw the mechanic, take it in and ask for an inspection of these items at the same time as your oil change.
  • Have the mechanic look at your brakes. A well-maintained brake system is a necessity. Ask your mechanic to check your brake pads and ensure there are no leaks within the system. If necessary, have brake repairs done before you have to do much winter driving.
  • Fix broken lights. A broken or burnt out light can feel like an annoyance. However, during the winter months, it becomes a hazard. Your vehicle’s lights are not only for you to see the road, but also for other drivers to be able to see you and know when you brake during poor visibility. If you have any lights that are out, have them fixed immediately.

If You Are Hurt in a Winter Accident, Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Today

After surviving numerous Chicago winters, you realize the weather predictions are a bit pointless. No matter how El Nino, El Nina, or the polar vortex affect the weather, an Illinois winter comes with bone-chilling temperatures, snow, and ice. You have to bundle up against the cold and take all the safety precautions you can – particularly when it comes to driving during poor winter weather conditions. However, no matter your attempts to drive safely, you may be the victim of a crash.

If you are hurt in any accident, do not hesitate to seek legal help from a lawyer. The experienced attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can determine the driver responsible for the crash and help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.