Each year, roughly 70% of Americans are subjected to snow, slush, and icy roads. While some drivers are experienced and can manage the worst blizzards, the majority don’t know how to handle a car in the snow. In general, driving in winter is far more dangerous than driving at any other time of year, and these four winter driving stats illustrate part of the reason why.
1-in-6 Crashes Happen on Snowy Roads
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), 17% of all annual car crashes in the United States occur on snowy roads. These include both crashes with other vehicles and crashes caused solely by poor conditions. The reason is a combination of difficult roads and driver inexperience. As we discussed previously, many of these winter crashes result in a rear-end collision.
1-in-12 Winter Crashes Are Caused By Poor Conditions
Far fewer crashes are attributed solely to bad weather than you might think. According to the FHA, about 500,000 car crashes are single-vehicle and caused by either very bad conditions or driver inexperience. However, in most fault states, including comparative fault states, claiming bad weather caused the crash is not a good strategy for avoiding fault.
Night Driving is Deadlier in Winter
Night driving accounts for 50% of all car crashes at the best of times. In the snow, that rate is significantly higher. Night driving is particularly dangerous because of lacking visibility. When that danger is combined with ice, compacted snow, and the active hours for deer and other wildlife, the risk of a crash is significantly higher. For your own safety, please avoid driving between 11 PM and 5 AM, especially when it’s snowing.
It Takes Longer to Brake in Winter
According to AAA, it takes 10x longer to brake in winter. That means, if you would need 100 feet to safely slow down in summer, you would need 1,000 feet to safely slow down on that same road in winter, assuming you were traveling at the same speed.
That’s why it’s always better to drive slow in winter. Remember that speed limit signs are the recommended speed in ideal conditions, not for all occasions. In general, you should reduce your speed by 5-10 MPH when driving in snow and slow down further based on road conditions and visibility.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a winter car crash, we are here to help. If you’d like an experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 690-3132 or send us an email!