As the winter months approach, crashes and near-misses on Northern highways proliferate, causing sharp increases in injuries and fatalities. In an effort to curb these crashes the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), along with several other transportation agencies recently initiated its annual winter campaign: “Ice and Snow – Take it Slow.”
Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm also remind Illinois drivers of the new laws and regulations that went into effect in 2013. The new laws make driving and manually using a cell phone illegal and a serious traffic violation with heavy fines, forbids using cell phones in work zones, and allows drivers involved in crashes to move their cars off highways as long as there is not a physical injury.
IDOT, the State Police and the Illinois Tollway affirm that they are rolling out winter road crews, which include over 1,800 snow removal trucks, 460,000 tons of salt, and 182 plow trucks. Motorists are urged to do their part to keep the roads safe and clear this winter season, but slowing down, wearing seat belts, driving defensively, and eliminating distractions. They should also avoid any unnecessary lane changes, allow extra travel time, and increase the distance between vehicles.
IDOT spends nearly $65 million each year on snow removal systems to keep the 16,000 miles of Illinois roads as clear as passable as possible. While snow plows help keep roads safe, they also sometimes move slower than posted speed limits allow. Drivers are thus encouraged to not crowd the plows on road ways, as the drivers’ field of vision is restricted and they may not see you trying to pass them.
Some safety tips drivers should adhere to during the harsh winter months:
- Watch for black ice, which appears clear but can cause serious accidents.
- Take it slow while approaching intersections, off-ramps, and bridges.
- Keep gas tanks two-thirds full to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Don't travel during bad weather and always check the forecast.
- Always carry an emergency kit containing jumpers, reflectors or flares, windshield fluid, ice scraper, blankets, food and a first-aid kit.
Should someone encounter trouble on the road, *999 may be dialed for roadway assistance. To check forecasts and travel conditions, drivers may call 1.800.452.4368. The number for state tollway information is 1.800.TOLL.FYI, and the website address is www.gettingaroundillinois.com.
Truck accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm hope all motorists take seriously the recommendations by IDOT during the ensuing winter months. If you were involved in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another, whether that is another driver or the car manufacturer, contact our firm with any questions. We provide free, no-obligation legal consultations to potential clients from all 50 states.