You might be surprised to learn that most accidents DO NOT happen in the winter months. Which season has the most car accidents? Most people would think that because of the slick conditions, during the cold months of winter, that the winter season would be the winner. But, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, August, at the end of the summer, is when the most auto accidents occur. Statistically, accidents are most likely to happen in the summer and on weekends. This is simply because there are more people on the roads enjoying the pleasant weather, which makes accidents more likely to occur. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows…The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said more than 5.8 million vehicle crashes occur each year based on statistics from 2007 to 2016. About 21 percent of those, or just over 1.2 million, involved hazardous weather.
What is the weather condition that results in the most accidents? Rain! Believe it or not, rain is more dangerous in many states than snow and ice. Turns out, rain is by far the most common adverse weather event and accounts for 46 percent of the nearly 1,259,000 weather-related crashes each year in the United States. This is largely because rain is so common in many states. Also, drivers aren’t as cautious in the rain as they are on snow or ice.
Which brings us to snow, ice, sleet and slippery conditions. It’s important to remember that the slick driving conditions can be just as dangerous. The statistics don’t matter, when you become one. When the chilly temperatures of winter set in, will you and your vehicle be ready for the cold?
Regardless of the time of year, automobile accidents are stressful for victims and their families—and the injuries that result are immensely taxing and painful. Let us help you navigate the many decisions that need to be made so that you can focus on recovering and healing. Let the attorneys and staff of Schulze Law protect you from unfair treatment after a car accident and ensure that other motorists or insurance companies involved cannot use your statements and actions against you. CALL NOW: 857-300-5300
Driving safely in winter weather can be a challenge for even the most experienced driver. We can’t forget that snow and ice demand careful driving and special preparation for your vehicle. According to Safe Winter Roads, over 1,300 people are killed and 116,800 are injured in car accidents on snowy, slushy or icy roads. Each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet. That’s not all: every year, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are hurt in crashes during snowfall or sleet.
Sounds like it’s the perfect time for a refresher when it comes to making our way through a winter
The three key elements to safe winter driving are:
- Stay alert
- Slow down
- Stay in control
AAA recommends the following tips while driving in snowy and icy conditions:
Cold Weather Driving Tips
- Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
- Test your vehicle’s battery.
Tips for Driving in the Snow
- Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
- Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
- Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
Let’s dive even deeper into the chilly, snowy, statistics as we gear up for the winter season with the help of Carsurance.net.
Winter Driving Accident Statistics
- Over 70% of US roads are in snowy regions.
On average, these regions receive more than 5 inches of snowfall annually. Considering that snow and sleet make roads slicker and reduce visibility, there’s an increased risk of traffic accidents in these regions. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- About 70% of the US population lives in snowy regions.
Since snowy weather can greatly obstruct driving, a huge portion of the population has a higher risk of crashing their car during the winter. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- 17% of all vehicle crashes happen during winter conditions.
People need to take driving in winter conditions seriously. Besides driving carefully, drivers should also prepare their vehicles for the harsh winter weather. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- According to winter driving accident statistics, traffic accidents on snowy, slushy, or icy roads account for 24% of weather-related traffic accidents.
In addition, 15% of the traffic accidents caused by bad weather occur during snowfall or sleet. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- 1,836 people die annually due to snowy and icy pavement.
This is the 10-year average for 2005–2014. In addition, 136,309 people are injured annually because of snowy and icy roads. (Icy Road Safety)
- More than 1,300 people get killed in car crashes on snowy or icy roads every year.
This fact is always a reminder that it’s important to drive carefully, especially in adverse weather conditions. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- About 76,000 people get injured in traffic accidents during snowfall each year.
In addition, according to the winter driving statistics in the USA, over 800 people die in car accidents during snowfall or sleet. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- Over 116,800 people get injured in car accidents on snowy or icy roads every year.
When pavement’s slick, drivers can easily lose control of their vehicles, which results in a huge number of traffic accidents every year. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- About 70% of the accidental fatalities that occur during winter happen in cars.
Winter weather poses the greatest danger to people traveling by car. (The Zebra)
- Based on the 10-year average from 2007 to 2016, there were 156,164 crashes annually due to icy roads.
And according to data from the 2008–2010 period, fatal crashes due to icy roads are most likely to occur in the Midwestern and Plains states. However, they can even happen in the deep South. (The Federal Highway Administration)
- These winter driving accident statistics also suggest that an average of 800 Americans die in car crashes annually due to winter weather conditions.
This figure represents the average for the period of 2011 to 2015. The car wrecks were caused by freezing rain, snow, sleet, or ice. (USA Today)
- Ohio has the most incidences of deadly winter car crashes.
From 2011 to 2015, there were more than 420 fatalities in Ohio due to winter car accidents. The top five deadliest states for winter car crashes are all in the Upper Midwest or near the Great Lakes. (USA Today)
Summer Driving vs. Winter Driving Statistics
- December has the most traffic fatalities in winter.
According to a NHTSA study covering a period of 24 years, December is the month with the highest number of traffic fatalities among the winter months. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- August has the highest number of traffic fatalities overall.
According to the same study, August is the deadliest month when it comes to traffic accidents. It’s followed by July, October, June, and September. Considering these winter driving facts, it comes as a surprise that there aren’t any winter months among the top five deadliest ones. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- 20% more miles are driven in the summer months than in the winter months when comparing summer and winter driving statistics.
As a result, there are more people on the roads, which increases the risk of car accidents. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Driving any time of the year has risks. That said, snow, sleet, ice and below freezing temperatures all have an effect on driving conditions and certain precautions to keep in mind. Let’s all be safe and enjoy the magical, winter wonderland!
Please call Schulze Law if you’ve been in an accident. We can help…rain, shine or snow or black ice!