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2018 Winter Safe Driving Tips and Tricks

Many people don’t just walk through the winter wonderland anymore. Additionally, few of us take a sleigh ride. And if you watch the news, you would think everyone boards a plane at O’Hare. But most people drive to their holiday parties.  How can you make sure you make it there with the pie you baked and the presents for Gramma?

What to know before you go

Getting everyone ready for the holidays can be taxing, tiring, and stressful. But if you prepare, it makes it all seem so much easier – and more enjoyable.

Get Your Car Ready

AAA suggests to:
  • Check tire pressure and tread depth
  • Replace wiper blades
  • Fill the windshield washer reservoir
  • Test the battery
Don’t leave home without an oil change or brake check, too, if you’ve been putting those off.
Remember to have your emergency winter kit as well.

Check on the weather

Know what kind of conditions you might be driving through. Many of us check just the weather at your home and your destination. But you need to know if you will be traveling through danger. We recommend various weather apps, like Weather Underground and the Chicago Weather Center.

Secure your valuables

Unfortunately, thieves thrive during the holidays. Whether it’s presents in your car or leaving your home, make sure you have taken security measures to keep your valuables safe.

Tips for Your Winter Travels

Take advantage of these tips as you travel through the ice and snow of Illinois this holiday season.

Plan Ahead

Remember to plan ahead. Use the tips above to prepare your vehicle for safe travel. Next, plan your route in advance and check traffic reports. When checking your route, determine if you need to  leave earlier or later to avoid clusters or traffic. You may even be able to find a new and less crowded route. Tools such as Google Maps can assist you as your travel.

Follow Speed Limits

One present you do not want this holiday season is a speeding ticket. It’s worse than coal. Make sure you follow the posted speed limits, but even more so, the flow of traffic. If roads are overly congested, then traffic may be moving at a slower pace. For safety purposes, try and stay with the current flow of traffic.

Get Some Rest

If you’re planning a big journey, then make sure you get plenty of rest the night before. If you’re driving a long distance, make sure you’re not drowsy. If you drive tired, you put yourself, your passengers, and others who are on the road in danger. Pull over and spend a night at a hotel. You cannot celebrate the holidays with your family if you are in the hospital.

Relax!

Holiday driving can be quite stressful, so stay as relaxed as possible. If you’re angry or upset, you’re liable to make a quick decision that could prove to be dangerous. When you’re behind the wheel, stay calm and focused. Also, don’t listen to any type of music that may put you in a bad mood. Listen to some fun holiday music – here in Chicago, 93.9 FM began playing Christmas music in November!

Enjoy the Ride

When driving this holiday season, remember to stay safe and alert. By all means, enjoy the ride and the time you’re spending with your family. Don’t forget to use our holiday driving tips to help ensure safe travels.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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