Winter in the city is a double-edged sword

Winter in Chicago has both good and bad qualities. On the one hand, cold and snowy conditions impart a sense of coziness and enchantment, in part because of the holiday spirit that comes along with such weather.

On the other, the cold can be biting because of the winds coming off Lake Michigan. Additionally, snow and ice can make the city’s driving conditions frustrating. Dangerous, even.

If you have ever driven in Chicago during the winter months, you probably can relate to this sentiment. When even a mere couple inches of snowfall, the roads become congested, and drivers spin out of control–the perfect conditions for accidents.

So, what exactly are the risk factors that cause winter car accidents? Read on to learn more.

Ice

Slippery surfaces can make routine driving maneuvers go haywire. Accelerating too quickly may not give your tires enough traction, and you could get stuck in an intersection and be a risk of colliding with another driver.

On the flipside, not slowing down gradually enough could mean that you slip and slide instead of coming to a controlled stop. In the process, you could hit another vehicle, spin off the road, or even flip your car.

Visibility issues

Winter weather can also bring serious visibility issues. Heavy snow or fog can make it so you can’t see the road more than a few yards ahead, putting you at risk of rear-ending someone or colliding with an obstruction in your path.

Overconfident drivers

You may have heard someone say, “When it snows, everyone forgets how to drive.” You may have even uttered the phrase yourself. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Driving at average speeds in wintry conditions could easily cause you to lose control when you hit a patch of ice, so slow down by five or 10 miles per hour. Slow down more gradually than you usually would, or else you may not be able to stop the momentum you’ve built in time.

Winter driving injuries

Despite your best intentions, you may still end up in a car accident this winter. If you happen to get injured by another driver in the crash, you could be entitled to compensation. If it happens, reach out to a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand your legal options and advocate for you.