Car accidents are a concern for all drivers. Some statistics state a driver will be involved in an average of 4-6 car accidents in their lifetime. With over 5 million accidents each year, it’s important to learn what contributes to crashes, and what you can do to protect yourself from being involved in a crash.
The facts may surprise you. Car accidents are not more common during winter months, in fact the most dangerous time to drive has more to do with how many people are on the road, rather than inclement weather. A Forbes article explains while winter weather contributes to accidents, car accident fatalities on snowy days generally fall for two reasons. When inclement weather hits, more people choose to stay home, and the drivers who are out driving use extra caution. Forbes goes on to say the most dangerous time to be on the road is not a winter month at all, but August. More people are on the road traveling in August, and because weather is usually favorable for driving, people may be more inclined to speed and be reckless.
The Highway Administration points out while weather does have an impact on crashes, it’s actually rain and wet pavement that causes more accidents, not snow. Statistics they gather show rain or wet pavement accounts for 26% of vehicle crashes, while snow and ice accounts for 11%.
Because rain is a more common driving condition, people feel more comfortable with their rainy day driving skills than snow driving skills. Many cities also take special precautions in snowy weather such as plowing, rocking, or salting during inclement weather, which reduces the number of crashes. In addition, many drivers invest in studs to assist with ice driving, or use chains on snow packed roads. There are little to no driver helps in rainy conditions, and the driver must rely on his own ability and judgement, making rain a surprise danger of the road.