Naperville police offer winter storm driving tips

Donate Today Buy This Video

With the impending winter storm expected this weekend, the Naperville Police Department is anticipating more car accidents.  In an effort to curb those incidents, they’re offering a few tips.

Winter weather driving tips

Officers with the department say that safety begins at home.

“You need to plan for your travel,” said Commander Rick Krakow, Public Information Officer with the Naperville Police Department.  “A lot of times we get rushed in the morning specifically. So give yourself a lot of extra time.”

It’s also best to pack the car with some necessities, including an ice scrapper, a first-aid kit, and a coat.

“If you’re not going to wear it in the car, at least have it with you,” said Officer Krakow.  “Blankets would be advisable, too, because sometimes you’re going to get in the crash and maybe we can’t get to you.”

Reduce speed, increase distance

Once you hit the road, Officer Krakow suggests increasing your following distance when you and reducing your speed.

“Most of our crashes in these types of weather conditions are going to be, you know, your rear-end collisions,” said Officer Krakow.  “And those can certainly be avoided with added following distance and decreasing your speed.”

He also says to pay attention to your surroundings and stay off the phone.

“Distracted driving, especially in these kind of weather conditions, can be tragic.”

If you find yourself swerving, you may be tempted to slam on the breaks but that may not always be best.

“In these types of conditions, snowy conditions sometimes slamming on the brake can be pretty detrimental. But it’s so unpredictable with the weather conditions that you just kind of have to see how the cars are reacting. But again, naturally, we want to slam on the brake, but sometimes staying off the brake and using steering to avoid a collision could be best for you.”

If you’re in an accident

Should you be in an accident, try to move off the road if your car is still operable and it’s safe to do so, and then call 9-1-1.

“Move off the roadway to a nearby parking lot, or if there is no parking lot to the shoulder, you want to get off the main roadway as much as possible,” said Officer Krakow.  “A lot of times people think that the police aren’t going to know what happened if they move their cars. We’ll figure out what happened. It’s safest to get off the roadway for everybody.  From that point, you know, call 911 will come out and we’ll take the report for you. Some situations are going to depend on whether or not you should stay in your car or out of your car.”

Authorities say above all else, try to avoid driving at all during a snowstorm if you can.  For more winter driving tips visit The Illinois Department of Transportation’s website.

If you have a story idea, send us a tip!