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Beware of the First Snowfall…


Road with Snow

Winter weather brings unmistakably dangerous driving conditions to Connecticut.

But are some wintery days worse than others?

That’s what researchers at the University of Michigan wanted to know.

To conduct their study, the team at Michigan examined federal accident statistics over 25 years and linked the 1.4 million fatal crashes to weather conditions in the 48 states they examined.  Their report was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

So, what did they find?

  • Snowy days typically produce 24% more non-fatal car accidents than dry days.
  • First snow days typically produce 30% more fatal car accidents than dry days.
  • First snow days typically produce 14% more fatal car accidents than non-first snow days.
  • First snow days are substantially more dangerous for elderly drivers (ages 65+) than other snow days – producing a 34% jump in car accident fatalities.
  • Snow days, in general, have fewer fatal car accidents than dry days – in large part due to a decrease in traffic volume on snow days.

What might be the cause for the jump in fatal elderly crashes?

Researchers offered these possibilities:

“Either they (the elderly) do not reduce their driving as much during first snowfalls as during subsequent snows, or they do not adjust their driving behavior in response to the beginning of the snow season as quickly as do the nonelderly.”

Regarding non-fatal car crashes, it’s important to remember that while first snowfalls are once-a-year events, snowfalls, in general, account for a substantial period of exposure to inclement weather and a heightened risk of a car accident. Typically there are 60+ snow days per year for states such as Connecticut and New York.

So next time the weather forecasters talk about the first snow of the season – use extra care when traveling – and encourage elderly family members to stay home if at all possible.

If you or a loved one are ever injured in a car accident in Connecticut, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting people like you who’ve been injured in accidents for over 60 years.  And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area.  If you are ever injured in an accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us.

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