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8 Winter Driving Statistics Every Driver Needs to Know

car in snow

As anyone who has taken their car out onto the highway to visit relatives for the holidays has experienced, driving during the winter can be dangerous. From blinding blizzards to hidden black ice, wintery weather conditions can make it much more difficult to stay safe on the road. However, by learning important winter driving facts, you can better prepare yourself during the season. Before you hit the road this winter to visit family, check out these eight surprising statistics courtesy of our Bensalem, PA, collision repair experts and some winter driving tips.

70% of Drivers Live in Snowy Regions

If you’ve ever survived a PA winter, you know that driving in the snow is no easy task. However, you're far from the only person in the country to deal with snow-covered highways. About 70% of the U.S. population lives in an area prone to heavy winter snow showers — this also means that the roads in those regions are also blanketed with snow and sleet as well, making them more slippery and harder to traverse. The chances are high that you live in a region that receives snow each year, so always freshen up on your winter driving tips before the season starts.

17% of All Vehicle Crashes Are Due to Winter Weather 

From drunk driving to distracted driving, there are many potential causes for automobile accidents. However, did you know that harsh winter weather causes about 17% of all vehicle crashes? This makes it especially important to arm yourself with winter driving facts and get your vehicle ready for winter — make sure your tires are in good condition!

When the Temperature Lowers to 32 Degrees, Black Ice Will Form

Other winter driving facts you should know about are related to black ice, which is a thin layer of ice that can form during winter storms. Its transparent nature makes it resemble water, meaning that drivers might have a hard time telling the difference between the two while out on the highway — they might not even notice it in the first place because it can be seen through. Given how dangerous black ice is, everyone must show extreme caution driving on winter roads when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heavy Snow Can Slow Down the Speed of Traffic by 60% of the Normal Speed Limit

One of the winter driving facts you may already know and have experienced firsthand is how much slower traffic becomes — and it's not just because of the snow on the ground. Constant snowfall and heavy fog can greatly obscure driver visibility, making it difficult to see where you're driving. This, in turn, means that drivers may travel at slower speeds.

About 76,000 Drivers Are Injured During a Winter-Weather Crash Every Year

Given how treacherous and slippery roads are, it's only natural that accidents occur during the cold weather driving conditions — and, sadly, this means that more drivers are hurt as well. If you’re injured during a winter car accident, make sure you seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. Always keep a charged cell phone with you when you leave so you can quickly call for help if you’re involved in a collision.

Icy Roads Cause About 156,000 Accidents Annually

Part of the reason why winter roads cause so many car accidents each year is that snow and slush can reduce speed by 30% to 40% on major roads. In fact, it can take up to 10 times longer to stop your car on a snow-covered road. As a result, icy roads can be especially difficult to navigate — even for experienced drivers. If you know that you’ll be driving on a road that hasn’t been deiced yet, pay special attention to speed limits and be extra careful whenever you make a turn.

Around 800 Americans Die in Winter Car Crashes Every Year

Although the exact number changes from year to year, an unfortunately high number of people die in winter car crashes. Therefore, driving during the winter isn’t something to take lightly — it can quickly become a deadly situation if you aren’t careful. Drive defensively and avoid the roads right after a heavy snowfall, if possible. The FHWA states that the first snowfall of each year is considerably more dangerous than those that follow it, so be cautious when you're out driving on the first snow of the season.

Salting Roads Can Help Lower Winter Accidents by 88%

And now for more positive winter driving facts. According to the Minnesota Stormwater Manual, using salt to deice roads can reduce the chances of winter weather accidents by around 88%. Given the positive impact salting roads can have on the safety of drivers, it's understandable that the state department of transportation spends 20% of its budget on road maintenance.

As a driver, you can minimize your risk of being involved in an accident this winter by taking steps to prepare your vehicle for the snow and ice ahead. If you’ve recently been involved in an accident, contact Peruzzi Collision Center’s auto body repair shop in Bensalem, PA! We offer professional collision repair services and perform dent repair in Fairless Hills, PA , and the surrounding area to ensure all vehicles are in top condition for the holiday season. To learn more and schedule your appointment, give us a call today!

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