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3 essential tips for winter driving in Chicago

Winter is well underway, which means driving in Chicago just got tougher. Whether you have lived here for years or are new to the area, it is always good to be aware of some essential winter driving tips.

When everyone else is freaking out, getting stuck in the snow and causing car crashes, you can be confident in your ability to navigate through Chicago even when it is snowy and icy. Brush up on these guidelines to handle winter driving conditions without a problem.

1. Keep emergency items in your car

The Illinois Department of Transportation has some warnings and tips for driving through the city when there is slush, snow and ice on the roads. One of the most important things you can do is have an emergency kit in your car, according to the IDOT. Items should include:

  • An ice scraper
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Shovel
  • Blankets
  • Bags of salt and/or kitty litter
  • A portable cell phone charger

Having these items on hand will help you be ready for virtually anything winter throws at you. 

2. Drive slower

You should reduce your speed whenever you are driving during or after a snowfall. The streets can be deceptive, and you could end up losing traction on black ice. You do not need to drive painfully slow all the time, but taking it easy will help you maintain traction and give you time to brake when reacting to hazardous situations.

3. Check out local conditions

Before you set out on a drive, look at the weather and traffic conditions. There are various websites and smartphone apps that can give you real-time updates on the forecast and road conditions. This will give you an idea of what you are about to face when conditions change drastically.

If you keep these fundamental driving tips in mind, you are sure to be able to drive through Chicago during the winter like a pro.

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