With a threat of winter weather this week in Illinois, insurance officials are reminding Illinoisans about winter driving conditions and to be prepared.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 70% of the nation’s roads are in regions that average more than five inches of snow a year, and nearly a quarter of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy or icy pavement annually.
In February, over 100 cars were involved in multiple crashes during a winter storm which shut down an interstate north of Bloomington-Normal.
Bob Passmore, vice president, personal lines at American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said early in the season, motorists sometimes forget how to drive in snowy conditions.
“When the first snow comes, you invariably see people who have probably lived in Illinois their whole lives and yes, they forget because it hasn’t been around for a while,” said Passmore. “That is one of the many reasons we decide to remind folks to be careful out there when those flakes start to fly.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation expects to have 1,700 snow plows ready to keep the nearly 16,000 miles of Illinois roads clear once the snow starts to fall.
Passmore said it is a good idea to prepare in case you get into an accident.
“Your insurer or insurance agent can help you minimize problems in finding a reputable auto body repair facility and assist you every step of the way following an accident,” said Passmore. “Before turning your vehicle over to a tow truck or body shop, make sure you have spoken with your insurer or insurance agent.”
Severe weather events last winter caused more than $1 billion in insured losses.
This article originally appeared on The Center Square.