Freezing Rain Will Complicate Chicago Driving

During a typical winter season, the first significant storm may pose the greatest danger to safety. Drivers are not used to operating in inclement conditions, they may need to adjust their speeds and steering to counteract the cold and snow, and some vehicles will not be ready for winter temperatures. But after that first storm, often a late season cold front after a day or more of spring-like weather can be the most dangerous. Following a thaw, some people will forget that another storm can be in the forecast and therefore may encounter the poor weather unexpectedly, increasing the likelihood that they will be involved in a car accident.

That is the unfortunate situation some drivers will find themselves in today as freezing rain, snow, and sleet are expected to strike Chicago, complicating the commutes of hundreds of thousands who will try to make it into the city. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory which will remain in effect until 9:00 a.m. CST today but the storm’s fallout will have an impact on the city for much longer.

Some areas of Illinois saw freezing rain early today, leading to slippery conditions on the roadways. And in other areas, snow fell and is still falling now and has limited the visibility for motorists. The worst hit portions of the state are experiencing freezing rain topped with snow which has caught many off guard.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed at O’Hare and Midway Airports and total snow accumulations this morning are expected to range between one and three inches.

Early reports indicate that at least one collision on the Kennedy Expressway and one on the Skyway were partially blamed on the poor weather. Green line L trains have had some delays but Metra trains were operating mostly on schedule.

If you will be driving in Chicago or in the suburbs today, make sure you use caution as the conditions will be ripe for winter weather car accidents. Slow your speed and expect the unexpected, including drivers who will lose control of their cars and black ice, no matter where you drive. Also, plan for your trip to take a little longer than normal as traffic delays and congestion are anticipated through much of the city and some of the larger suburbs.

Finally, know that the weather alone is rarely the sole factor in a collision and instead, it is generally negligence or a mistake on a motorist’s part combined with poor conditions that can be blamed for a crash. Do your best to act responsibly so that you will not be at-fault for an accident, and understand that if you are the unfortunate victim of a traffic collision, you may be entitled to financial relief for your damages, including your medical expenses.

The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to help you realize what options you may have moving forward if an accident has left you hurt or has claimed the life of someone you love.

Our legal team had decades’ worth of combined experience helping accident victims and we are standing by now to help you as well. If we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf and we will advance all case-related costs so please do not hesitate to call us now.

Prior Blog Entry:

More Than Texting: The Many Forms of Distracted Driving, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 26, 2016.


Freezing rain, sleet for morning commute, snow this afternoon, by Chicago Tribune staff and WGN-TV, Chicago Tribune, published March 1, 2016.

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