Tips For Winter Weather Driving In Chicago

If there’s one thing Chicagoans know a lot about, it’s getting through winter. After all, we’re not known as “The City That Works … As Long As The Weather’s Not Too Bad.” Life in the city doesn’t stop just because of a few inches of snow, or because the streets are covered with black ice, or because it’s cold enough to flash-freeze a moose. We Chicagoans are supposed to be a hearty bunch, and that means we hit the roads even when they’re buried under an inch of slush and sleet. Driving under these adverse conditions is a rite of passage for Chicagoans. Though anyone who has been stuck on the Dan Ryan in January can tell you that not everyone is successful at it.

Even the most seasoned Chicago drivers have to be extra careful during the winter months, because accidents are far more likely. Not only can ice and snow make roads slippery, but blowing snow also can reduce visibility and freezing cold can wreak havoc on your car’s engine. No one wants to be in an accident at any time of the year, of course. However, winter can be an especially dangerous time to drive for people who already have insurance issues for whatever reason. To avoid accidents and having to make costly claims during the winter season, here are a few tips to help you avert trouble while driving in Chicago.

Drive Defensively

Perhaps the most important detail to remember about driving in Chicago in winter is that you need to drive defensively. Although you may be in a hurry, driving aggressively only ratchets your risk of being involved in an accident. Driving defensively and appropriately for the slippery conditions means:

 

Be Prepared for the Conditions

Driving during a Chicago winter is fundamentally different than driving in the city at any other time of year. That means preparing yourself for what you’ll find on the road is an essential part of avoiding accidents and breakdowns. Here are some basic tips for preparing yourself and your car for winter:

 

Be Ready for a Breakdown

Cold and icy conditions can be harsh on your car. It’s possible that at some point during the Chicago winter your car might break down. Keep the following in mind in case you end up stranded on the side of the expressway or on a side street:

 

Even if you’re born and raised in Chicago, you’re not born knowing how to drive during a Chicago winter. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to say with pride that you can handle driving in winter like a true Chicagoan — even if you’re actually in Naperville.