Beware of the First Snowfall

traffic in bad weather

Winter weather brings unmistakably dangerous driving conditions to Connecticut. But are some wintery days worse than others, and are they better or worse than dry days? 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?

  • Nonfatal injury and property damage-only crashes increase significantly when it snows.
  • First-snow days (compared to other snowy days - regardless of storm intensity) are particularly dangerous. The first day of snow in any season typically produces 34% more fatal car accidents for senior drivers and a 14% jump in fatal car accidents for all drivers (regardless of age).
  • Snow days generally have fewer fatal car accidents than dry days – mainly due to a decrease in traffic volume on snow days.

What might cause the jump in fatal senior driver crashes on first-snow days?

Researchers offered these possibilities:

“Either they (seniors) 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 younger drivers.”

Regarding non-fatal car crashes, it’s important to remember that while first snowfalls are once-a-year events, snowfalls generally account for a substantial period of exposure to inclement weather and a heightened risk of a car accident. Typically, there are 65+ snow days per year in 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 senior family members to stay home if 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 assisted people like you who've been injured in accidents for over 65 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 get in touch with us. There is no obligation.

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