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It's THAT Time of Year Again.....

Yep, if you live anywhere it gets cold, we are inevitably going to experience rain, ice and snow in the winter. Here are 10 important steps to take to be prepared and to prevent accidents.

1) The obvious one-if you don't need to go out in bad weather-don't ! More people are working out of their house today and if you expect a storm coming, stock up on items at the store so you can stay in for a few days. No need to put yourself in a position that may be hazardous.

2) Be prepared-check the weather on the news, your phone app or the radio. It's best to leave early to your destination so you don't need to rush, and if there is a delay or accident you'll have plenty of time to get to your location. Keep a shovel in your trunk to dig yourself out of snow, keep boots, gloves and hats in your car as well.

3) Bring items like a phone charger, cables, bottled water, non-perishable food items like protein bars, etc. Just in case you get stuck. There have been cases where someone has been stranded and it took hours to clear an accident and get traffic moving again.

4) Have roadside assistance of some sort. It's nice to be able to call for help when you need it. Just remember that other people are probably calling as well. It can take hours before a tow gets to you, or a jump to your battery.

5) Make sure your car is winterized. New windshield wipers, wiper fluid is topped off, worn tires are repaired, rotated, or all season tires are switched for your winter tires.

6) Don't speed ! you should be going 10 miles less than the posted speed limit when there is snow or ice. Don't tailgate, leave 3-4 car lengths between cars so you have enough time to brake and expect some sliding. Always use the main roads even if there is traffic. Taking a side street to save time my actually take longer. Side roads get plowed after the main roads.

7) Should you get in a non-life threatening injury, make sure you exchange drivers license information and insurance information. You can always file a claim with the insurance company later. It's important to get your vehicles off to the side of the road and get traffic moving.

8) If you are injured and you need assistance, you'll have to wait for an ambulance. They may be attending to other accidents, and remember they have to get through the same bad weather as you did. It will take longer. The best way to avoid this is to drive slow, pay attention, keep space between vehicles and make sure your car is in proper working condition.

9) If you're involved in an accident, remember symptoms may not start after weeks or maybe months! If you don't have current symptoms or, you are starting to have pain, it's time to get help.

10) If you are injured, it's important to go to someone who is an expert at auto injuries. Going to the hospital or primary car physician is fine, but they are most likely looking for life-threatening injuries or surgical cases. Fortunately, most auto accidents cause mechanical pain-that is injuries to your muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons. Usually not surgical cases, but cases that require a proper diagnosis, prognosis and treatment to not only get you better, but satisfy the requirements of the insurance company so that you get compensated for your injuries and property damage.

If you have been in an auto accident and are experiencing headaches, neck pain, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, shoulder pain, radiating pain, numbness and tingling in your arms or legs, mid-back pain, low back pain, wrist, ankle or leg pain and live in the Chicagoland area including: Chicago, Elmhurst, Northlake, Melrose Park, Villa Park, Lombard, Oak Brook, Bensenville, Stone Park, Berkeley, Bellwood, Westmont or Maywood, contact Auto Accident Pain Relief Center of Illinois 24/7 at 800-862-5914.

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