Winter Driving

Tips for driving in the winter


To minimize the possibility of break down, winterize your vehicle following the suggested maintenance schedule included in the owners manual or have your vehicle serviced by a reputable dealer, garage, or mechanic.

Check your wipers, tires (use snow tires if possible), lights, and fluid levels (radiator, windshield washer, power steering, oil and brakes) regularly. Make sure the brakes and transmission are working properly. Lubricate door and trunk locks with lock lubricant to prevent them from freezing.


During a winter storm ask yourself, "is this trip really necessary?" If you decide the trip cannot be delayed, check on weather conditions along your travel route. Listen to weather forecasts on TV, local radio stations, or NOAA Weather Radio. Call to get current road conditions for Illinois' interstate and freeway systems. Information is updated every two hours during a storm.

Do not leave without a WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT.

Tell someone at home (a friend, relative, or co-worker) that you are taking a trip, where you are going, the routes you will travel, and when you expect to arrive. When you reach your destination make a call to report that you have arrived.


Before you leave town, fill your gas tank. While traveling, frequently re-fill the gas tank. The stops will relieve tense muscles. When you stop, don't flaunt large amounts of cash. Keep valuable items out of sight. Avoid talking with strangers. Stop at well-lighted, well-traveled facilities.

If your vehicle breaks down, pull as far off the road as possible. Your greatest personal danger at this point is that of being hit by passing cars. Don't panic. Use common sense! The steps on the page titled "When Caught in a Winter Storm" in a vehicle will help you survive.

Stay prepared