Winter is officially upon us, and that means the weather is a bit dreary. It also means Chicagoans are at great risk of finding themselves stranded in the middle of a winter storm because of vehicle problems, poor road conditions, or automobile accidents. Prepare yourself and your loved ones this season with these winter car maintenance tips.
Perform Winter Maintenance on Your Car
While they do not account for every stranding or accident, vehicle maintenance issues can and do greatly increase the risk of both. As such, it is important that you take the time to perform some simple but extremely important to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Do so by either hiring a mechanic to check the following, or do it yourself:
- Check your antifreeze levels, and have the system flushed or refilled, if necessary,
- Frequently check your windshield wiper fluid levels, and ensure you are using a winter mixture to prevent freezing,
- Have your heating system checked,
- Inspect your brake system and, if necessary, have them repaired,
- Check brake fluid levels and inspect hoses for leaks,
- Have your battery tested and, if necessary, replaced,
- Check your exhaust,
- Ensure all of your lights and emergency flashers are in working order,
- If you have had any issues with your ignition, have it repaired,
- Check your tires for pressure and wear and, if necessary, replaced (and highly consider winter weather tires or tire chains),
- Keep fuel near full to help avoid ice buildup in the tank and fuel lines,
- Check your oil levels and, if necessary, have it changed, and
- Have the radiator system checked and serviced.
Keep an Emergency Winter Pack on Hand
In addition to keeping up general maintenance on your car, you should keep an emergency winter pack inside your vehicle. This will help you if you end up stranded on the road because of either a car accident or poor weather conditions that make it unsafe to drive. In it, pack:
- A shovel,
- A windshield scraper,
- Water and non-perishable food items,
- Extra hats, gloves, coats, and socks,
- Tire chains,
- A battery-powered radio with extra batteries,
- A flashlight with extra batteries,
- Chain or rope,
- Canned compressed air with sealant solution for emergency tire repair,
- Road salt, sand, or cat litter,
- Jumper cables,
- Road flares,
- Bright colored strips, tape, or flags,
- A first aid kit,
- A basic tool kit,
- A compass and road maps,
- Waterproof matches and a tin can to melt snow for water,
- Paper towels and/or toilet paper, and
- An extra charger for your cell phone.
Above all else, remember to check the weather reports before heading out. If road conditions are expected to become dangerous (or already are), do not risk the drive.
Face Automobile Accident Claims with an Experienced Attorney by Your Side
While many accidents during the winter season can be attributed to weather, others continue to be the fault of another driver. If you or someone you love is involved in an accident that may be due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, automobile accident cases can be extremely complex, so it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side.
The Illinois automobile accident attorneys at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. can help protect your rights and will ensure you have someone looking out for your best interest. Dedicated to advocating for accident victims, they provide aggressive representation and quality experience for your accident injury case. Learn how they can help by calling 630-907-0909 and scheduling your free initial consultation.