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The Dangers of Below-Freezing Temperatures

Central Illinois is expected to face record-breaking wind chills throughout this week. As the polar vortex comes our way, we will see wind chill temperatures that could be as low as 40 below zero in parts of Central Illinois. When temperatures are this low, frostbite can occur in less than 10 minutes, so it is best to stay inside as much as possible when we are experiencing weather conditions like this.

At the beginning of the week, prior to the temperatures dropping, we will see snow and rain throughout Central Illinois. Most of the rain will occur south of I-74 and snow totals should be less than an inch. North of I-74 is expected to see less than two inches, with higher amounts of snow projected closer to I-80.

We can expect dangerous road conditions throughout Central Illinois this week due to the rain, snow, and frigid temperatures. We know that when our roads are wet, and temperatures drop below freezing, the roads can become covered in ice, making it extremely difficult for vehicles to get a good grip on the road. Temperatures below 36 degrees indicate that road icing is possible and we will be seeing temperatures well below that so we can expect icy roads throughout Central Illinois.

If it is absolutely necessary for you to travel in these winter conditions, it is imperative that you are alert and cautious. Drive well below the speed limit, eliminate distractions, and extend your following distance from three to four seconds to eight to ten seconds, giving yourself more time to stop behind a vehicle.

It is also important to ensure that our vehicles are prepared for this type of weather, as frigid temperatures can be detrimental to our vehicles. Failure to properly prepare can result in a life-threatening situation. Before traveling in frigid, icy conditions, prepare your vehicle by following the tips below.

Change your oil: As temperatures get this low, it causes the oil in our car to thicken. If the oil is too thick, it will not lubricate our car engines properly, causing damage to your vehicle. A mechanic will help you choose the correct oil viscosity for your car during winter months.

Check your tires: Ensure that your tires have enough traction to be able to travel on snow or ice covered roads. It is also important to check the tire pressure, as the pressure in our tires drops when temperatures become cold.

Have your battery tested: Battery capacity decreases in cold weather, therefore it is extremely smart to have a mechanic examine your battery to ensure it is at peak performance. If you drive in winter conditions with a bad battery, you have the chance of your car not starting or dying while you are on the road.

Pack an emergency bag: When driving in winter conditions, you have a larger chance of getting stranded on the road. Before leaving, make sure you pack blankets, food, water, and phone chargers. That way if you find yourself stuck, you will have the necessary items to keep you safe while you wait for help.

Make sure you are paying attention to news and weather channels throughout this week in order to stay informed on freezing temperatures and road conditions. If you do not think that you can safely travel in these conditions, stay home. The decision could save you from a possible life-threatening situation.

Unfortunately, not all accidents are avoidable. No matter how many precautions we may take, we may still find ourselves involved in an accident. If you or a loved one has been a victim in a winter weather-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation to deal with your financial, physical, and emotional struggles. The experienced car accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. To speak about your unique situation, contact us at (815) 929-9292.