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Winter driving. Are you ready?

By the end of November, many locations throughout Illinois are experiencing the accumulation of snow on the ground and yes, on the roadways. With the appearance of the slippery white stuff, it can be expected that car accidents are more likely to occur. While residents in Elgin know what to expect when winter arrives, it can take a while to acclimate to driving in the snow again.

Fortunately, the Illinois State Police have provided some tips to area residents and out-of-state visitors on how to avoid car accident that can dampen everyone's holiday festivities.

One of the many bits of advice provided by the state's safety education officer is to make sure drivers pack an emergency road kit. Some of the suggested contents include:

  • First aid kit,
  • Salt, sand or another type of material to provide traction under car tires
  • Jumper cables
  • Blankets
  • Non-perishable food
  • Ice scraper
  • Windshield washer fluid

Another suggestion encourages motorists to allow plenty of travel time. Allowing enough time to arrive to a destination provides a comfortable buffer in case any delays transpire. This is particularly important if the weather forecast predicts the possibility of snow or other forms of inclement weather.

Some other helpful hints include always driving with a full tank of gas, always wearing a seat belt and adjusting the vehicle's speed to match the road conditions. Sources show that many winter weather accidents occur because drivers are travelling too fast for conditions. By driving too fast, motorists are more likely to not allow enough distance between the vehicle in front of them - potentially causing a rear-end collision.

Additionally, the black ice on the roadways is not readily visible. A driver is less likely to lose control of his or her car if they are alert and paying attention to the changing conditions. Habits, such as distracted driving, can be even more dangerous when combined with slick roads. So, put away the cell phones until the vehicle is stopped.

While most drivers have heard these tips many times, it is helpful to provide a friendly reminder. Surprisingly, many motorists believe that an accident won't happen to them -- until it does.

Source: The Journal Standard, "State police caution defensive driving," Nick Crow, Nov. 19, 2012

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  • "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

  • "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

  • "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

  • "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

  • "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

  • "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

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