This morning, many commuters will once again be on the roads, returning to their jobs after a likely break for a long holiday weekend. That alone can present a risky situation as some will be rushing to make it to the office for the first time in days, but things will be a little more dangerous today and winter weather car accidents will be much more likely as a result. According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning is in effect in the Chicago area and will last until 3:00 p.m. today. Those in the area are being warned about freezing rain, very high winds, and the potential for power outages as a result of the storm.
If you plan to be in Chicago through the mid afternoon, know that the possibility of freezing rain and sleet is very high. This precipitation is expected to coat area surface roads and interstates, leading to slippery and dangerous conditions for those who will be traveling by car or other vehicle. Pedestrians and cyclists will also be affected by the weather and are advised to proceed with caution.
As the heaviest part of the storm reaches the area in and around Cook County, wind gusts could reach 50 to 60 miles per hour. This will lead to the potential for flooding around the lakeshore and may cause power lines to down particularly if they are already covered with ice. Currently, temperatures are near the freezing point which means that the loss of power may turn dangerous if residents are unable to heat their homes.
Driving conditions will be challenging and may be impossible in some areas so officials advise all in the affected areas to remain home unless they must leave. If you are forced to drive, travel at a slower speed than normal and leave additional distance between your car and other vehicles so that you can stop in the event that traffic conditions change. Know that the absence of ice in one area of a road does not mean that the road will be ice-free in all areas so expect ice, sleet, and other hazards at any time.
The storm is expected to bring precipitation that will reduce visibility so be sure that your windshield wipers are in working order and that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid should you need to use it. Further, it is likely that it will take you longer than normal to reach your destination today so leave additional time for transit and make sure you have plenty of gas in the event you are stopped in traffic.
Contrary to popular belief, the weather is rarely the sole cause of a car accident in Illinois. Instead, it is often the combination of adverse conditions and the negligent action of a driver which result in an impact. If a car accident happens and you are injured, make sure you understand whether you have a valid claim for your injuries and for your damages even if the crash was caused in part by poor weather.
The personal injury team at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. We offer all those who have been hurt a free case consultation without obligation and everything we discuss during the consultation will be kept confidential. If we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
If tragedy affects your family, call Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us fight for your right to relief.
Prior Blog Entry:
Pedestrian Detection Technology May Prevent Some Chicago Crashes, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 23, 2015.