[N]o matter how used to driving in bad weather one is, it’s still a good idea to go over a mental checklist before getting out on the road. It could end up being the difference between a safe trip and an accident.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) February 01, 2013
With wintry weather in the forecast, it’s a good time for Chicago and Illinois drivers to think about adjusting their driving habits to allow for safe travel on snowy and icy roads, attorney David J. Pritchard said today.
Pritchard, a car accident lawyer with the Chicago law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., pointed to a new National Weather Service forecast calling for a chance of snow and flurries and possible snow accumulation in Cook County during the first weekend of February.
“Having to drive through snow, sleet, ice and rain is a fact of life for Chicago residents and others across the Midwest, and hopefully, most drivers know what they need to do to adjust to poor road conditions,” Pritchard said.
“Still, no matter how used to driving in bad weather one is, it’s still a good idea to go over a mental checklist before getting out on the road. It could end up being the difference between a safe trip and an accident.”
According to Pritchard, crash data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) shows just how dangerous the roads can be during the winter, especially January and February.
Between 2007 and 2011, the most recent period for which complete IDOT stats are available, there were a total of 172,263 motor vehicle crashes in Illinois involving snow and ice, including 289 fatal wrecks. In other words, an average of 34,453 crashes (58 fatal) occurred each year, the IDOT data shows.
During that same five-year period, a total of 643 fatal crashes occurred during the months of January and February alone, killing 721 people (an average of 129 fatal crashes and 144 deaths per year).
“It’s a time of year when you have to think about leaving early for your destination so you avoid the urge to drive fast on slick roads, or to make sure your car is fully equipped for the weather in terms of tires, windshield wipers, fluids and other components,” Pritchard said. “It’s even a good idea to keep a shovel, gloves and flashlight in your car.”
Unfortunately, Pritchard said, one can’t control the actions of other drivers. When a person is injured in an accident caused by one driving carelessly or recklessly in snow and ice, they should seek immediate legal help in addition to getting medical treatment, he said.
“It’s important to speak with an attorney who has experience reviewing and litigating car accident cases,” Pritchard said. “An attorney can go over the facts of the case and help one to understand their legal rights and options.”
About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Chicago personal injury firm with offices in Chicago (22 West Washington Street, Suite 1600, Chicago IL 60602) and Waukegan (218 North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085). In addition to representing clients in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, aviation and product liability cases, the firm focuses on car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm has obtained more than $630 million on behalf of its clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 180 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. For more information, call (312) 372-1227 or use the firm’s online contact form.