What are the hazards of winter driving? What can motorists do to reduce their risk of a motor vehicle accident when roads are covered in snow or ice? Winter weather conditions in Kansas and throughout the Midwest can be treacherous. Snow, ice, and sleet can make roads slick and routine trips can potentially turn deadly. Motorists in states where snow and sleet fall should slow down, stay off the roads when bad weather is forecast, and prepare their vehicle for potentially dangerous travel conditions.
Winter Weather Accidents
Approximately 70% of US roads travel through snowy regions, and about 70% of all Americans live in a region that sees regular snowfall. Nationwide, roughly 17% of all motor vehicle accidents occur during the winter months. Roughly 536,000 accidents occur each year because of icy roads and that 1,836 fatality accidents each year are occur on snowy, ice covered pavement. These accidents cause personal injuries to 136,000 drivers, passengers, and pedestrians each year.
In all, 24% of weather-related motor vehicle accidents from 2005 to 2014 occurred on snowy, slushy, or iced over pavement. Approximately 15% occurred when snow or sleet is falling. Snow and sleet caused 210,000 accidents, or 4% of all crashes. These injured 56,000 people and killed a further 739.
Iced pavement caused approximately 152,000 accidents, or 3% of all vehicle crashes, that injured just under 39,000 people and killed 559. Snowy/slushy pavement caused 174,000 accidents, or 4% of all crashes, that injured 41,500 individuals and killed 538.
From 2007-2016, snow was a factor in 18% of weather related crashes, ice contributed to 13% of crashes, and snow/slush were contributing factors in 16% of crashes. These statistics highlight the very real hazards of winter driving.
Staying Safe on Winter Trips
No matter how much driving experience an individual has behind the wheel, all drivers need to slow down and stay alert during winter weather. Motorists should always check their tires for proper inflation and tread, coolant levels, oil, and windshield wiper fluid reservoirs before every trip.
Drivers should also plan alternate routes before heading out. This makes it possible to avoid weather-related accidents and hazardous roads that have not been cleared of snow and ice. It is also advisable that drivers add extra travel time to their schedule when winter weather is forecast. This makes it possible to slow down and stay safe without worrying about being late to appointments, school, and work. Finally, individuals should avoid traveling during heavy weather unless it is absolutely required.
Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 for more on the hazards of winter driving and tips on how to stay safe on slippery roads. We represent clients injured in weather-related accidents in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.