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25 Crash Causes: Snow and Ice

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Top 25 Causes of Car Crashes


Chicago is no stranger to snow days and ice storms. On average, 36.7 inches of fresh snow accumulates every year. Driving with wintry road conditions can be dangerous since snow, sleet, slush, and ice all tend to reduce both pavement friction and visibility. During these cold weather events, the rate of car accidents on freeways and local roads can increase significantly. According to national crash statistics, snow accounts for 17 percent of all weather-related collisions, and on average, icy paths cause over 45,000 car accident injuries annually. In addition, inclement weather can negatively affect roadway infrastructure, traffic flow, and vehicle performance.

Mistakes to Avoid While Driving in Inclement Weather

Because of risk of auto crashes are higher during adverse weather conditions, drivers should take extra precautions, and avoid making careless mistakes. Some common errors drivers make while traveling through snow and ice include:

  • Not ensuring that car equipment such as windshield wipers and defrosters are working properly.
  • Not carrying an emergency safety kit with key items like antifreeze, snow shovel, ice scraper, flashlight, extra batteries, tire gauge, and roadside flares.
  • Driving too closely to cars in front, which is especially dangerous in snow when brakes might be less effective than usual.
  • Slamming on the brakes when tires start to lose traction. Braking forcefully can cause the vehicle to spin even more out of control.
  • Turning the wheel out of panic if the car hydroplanes. The steering wheel should be kept steady and straight.
  • Not reducing speed when the temperature drops to freezing levels, or during a moderate to heavy storm.

Even with four-wheel drive vehicles that perform better in snow and sleet, accidents can still happen if the tires slip and lose traction. Snow can also mask potholes, ditches, or hazardous objects on the street. It is best to drive slower than normal, and obey traffic signals and regulations. Moreover, by being prepared to tackle inclement weather, there is less chance of a roadside emergency.

Recovering from an Auto Accident

Thousands of auto accident injuries happen during the snowy or icy weather months in Chicago. If you or someone you know recently suffered a car crash and was hurt by another driver’s reckless driving, you can recover compensation for physical and psychological damages. By consulting with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer, you can discover the most optimal route to pursue legal recourse. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. offers our services free of charge unless a fair settlement is reached.

How a Car Accident Injury Attorney with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help You

We can help you navigate through the complex legal system, and file a claim to attain proper compensation. We will also take away the stress of filling out paperwork, and dealing with insurance adjusters, so you can focus on fully recovering. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is 100 percent committed to the health and financial well-being of our clients. You can learn more about what we do here, or call our office today to schedule a free case consultation with a knowledgeable car accident injury attorney.

Don’t miss this article: Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents and What You Can Do To Prevent Them. For this month of October, the Illinois attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will be developing a blog series breaking down these leading causes of car crashes.

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