Chicago winters bring freezing temperatures, ice, snow, slush and fog. Such weather conditions can make traveling hazardous for even the most cautious and experienced drivers. Although the city is well equipped for winter weather, reduced visibility and slick roads can give rise to car accidents.
If you are involved in a car accident during winter in Chicago, follow the five guidelines below to ensure you stay safe while waiting for help to arrive at the scene:
• If you are not seriously injured and your vehicle is working fine, carefully move it out of the roadway to a safe place. Doing so will reduce the risk of another accident occurring.
• While a winter accident can be very distressing, it is important to remain calm. Staying in the car until help arrives is likely to be the safest option, especially if it is snowing, stormy or extremely cold. Make sure you are visible and warm. Keep your seat belt fastened and switch on your vehicle’s hazard lights. Check yourself and others for injuries. If the engine is running, ensure the exhaust pipe is not blocked with snow or mud to prevent the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.
• Call 911. Obtain immediate medical attention for yourself and others who are injured. Emergency responders may take you to the hospital if necessary. Be sure to file a police report as it will help support your claim for compensation later on.
• If possible, collect evidence at the scene without putting yourself in harm’s way. Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident. Obtain contact details from any witnesses. Try to take photos and videos of your surroundings, road conditions, traffic signs, injuries and vehicle damage.
• Talk to an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer. The lawyer can help you determine whether another driver’s negligence may have caused the collision. For instance, the other driver may have been speeding down an icy road. You may have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.