Driving in Inclement Weather Conditions

Weather can create a driving hazard. Special care must be taken in fog, rain, high winds and winter driving conditions.

FOG

It is best not to drive in fog. However, if you must drive in fog, take the following precautions:

  • Slow down. If you see headlights or taillights, slow down even more. A driver may be driving in the center of the roadway or may be stopped or barely moving.
  • Drive with your headlights set on dim, or use foglights.
  • Do not overdrive your headlights. Stay within the limits of your vision. You may have to stop suddenly. If the fog is too dense, pull off the roadway and stop. Do not drive at five or 10 miles per hour.
  • Use your turn signal long before you turn and brake early when you approach a stop to warn other drivers.

RAIN

When rain begins to fall lightly, water, dust, oil and leaves cause the roadway to become slippery. When this happens, increase your following distance. Take special care on curves and turns and while braking. Your headlights must be on when operating your wipers. Parking lights are not acceptable.

When rain begins to fall heavily, your tires may "hydroplane". This means the tires are riding on a layer of water and not on the roadway. Avoid hydroplaning by slowing down. If you skid while hydroplaning, try to regain control of the vehicle. Otherwise, release the accelerator and ride out the skid.

HIGH WINDS

Wind can be a difficult problem for all drivers. Wind is especially difficult for drivers of trucks, recreational vehicles, campers and trailers-in-tow. In high winds, you should reduce your speed and make steering corrections when you go from a protected area to an open area and when meeting large vehicles such as trucks and buses. Heavy rain or sleet often accompanies high winds. You should be alert to wet or slippery areas and plan for those conditions. In high winds, the Illinois Tollway System will ban the hauling of house trailers.

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