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Winter weather creates hazardous road conditions

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Winter weather in Illinois can lead to dangerous driving conditions and icy roads. According to data published by the Federal Highway Administration, more than 150,000 motor vehicle accidents occur every year due to ice or snow on roadways nationwide. The same data goes on to say that there are more than 1,800 traffic fatalities annually due to snowy or icy conditions. Online news outlet The Zebra compiled different winter driving data sets from the FHWA, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the Weather Channel and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Statistics regarding winter roads

Snowstorms have a national annual cost of $1.2 billion. They cause around 4% of all car accidents. According to the FHWA, the first ice and snow each year are more dangerous than subsequent winter weather. This might be because drivers have to get acclimated to winter driving conditions each year.

2021 winter driver survey and statistics

The Zebra conducted a survey of 1500 Americans and found that 35.1% said their ice scraper is the most important winter tool to have in the vehicle. More than 75% of those who responded said they had driven on roads that had black ice. Black ice is a thin layer of ice almost indistinguishable from the road itself. Around 60% of respondents said they’d never used snow tires.

Winter driving fatality stats

Icy roads are by far the most dangerous weather hazards, accounting for 3.6 times more car accident deaths than all other weather issues combined. Approximately 3,200 people died in car accidents due to winter weather between the years 2011 and 2015. The deadliest times of the day, according to USA Today, are between 9 am and 2 pm, likely because more people are on the roads to commute to work and the ice and snow have not yet melted at that time.