Weather Related Car Crashes

Weather Related Car Crash Statistics

weather related car crashes

Weather related car crashes have always been a problem across the United States. There are about 6 million car crashes in America every year.

Approximately 21% of these crashes – nearly 1,235,000 – are weather-related. Weather related car crashes are defined as those crashes that occur in adverse weather (i.e., rain, sleet, snow, fog, severe crosswinds, or blowing snow/sand/debris) or on slick pavement (i.e., wet pavement, snowy/slushy pavement, or icy pavement). On average, nearly 5,000 people are killed and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Wet Pavement and Rainfall are the Primary Factors

Most weather related car crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall: 70% on wet pavement and 46% during rainfall. A much smaller percentage of weather-related crashes occur during winter conditions: 18% during snow or sleet, 13% occur on icy pavement, and 16% of weather related car crashes take place on snowy or slushy pavement. Only 3% happen in the presence of fog.

In comparison, the combined number of deaths caused by flooding, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, and heat was significantly lower, with an average of 379 deaths annually.

Rainfall and wet pavement pose significant challenges for drivers. The reduced visibility, decreased traction, and longer braking distances make it difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. Hydroplaning, where a vehicle loses contact with the road due to a layer of water on the surface, is a common occurrence during heavy rain. This can lead to loss of control and potentially serious accidents.

Fog and Reduced Visibility

Fog significantly impairs visibility, making it difficult to see other vehicles, road signs, and obstacles on the road. Drivers may struggle to judge their speed and the distance between vehicles, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions. It is crucial to reduce speed, use fog lights when necessary, and maintain a safe following distance in foggy conditions to avoid weather related car crashes.

Factors Contributing to Weather Related Car Crashes

While weather conditions undoubtedly play a significant role in causing car accidents, it is important to note that drivers’ behavior also contributes to the likelihood and severity of these accidents. Speed, following distance, driver distractions, and vehicle maintenance can exacerbate the risks associated with poor weather conditions.

Speed and Following Distance

One common mistake drivers make during inclement weather is failing to adjust their speed to match the road conditions. Driving too fast for the weather conditions reduces the driver’s ability to react and increases the likelihood of losing control. It is essential to reduce speed and maintain a safe following distance to allow for adequate braking in wet, snowy, or icy conditions.

Driver Distractions

Driver distractions, such as using cell phones, eating, or adjusting in-car technology, divert attention away from the road. In poor weather conditions, even a momentary distraction can have severe consequences. Drivers should prioritize keeping their focus on the road and eliminate any potential distractions.

Vehicle Maintenance and Preparation

Proper vehicle maintenance is crucial for safe driving in all weather conditions. Worn-out tires with low tread depth significantly reduce traction and increase the risk of accidents, particularly on wet or icy roads. Regularly checking tire pressure, ensuring functional windshield wipers, and maintaining adequate levels of windshield washer fluid are essential for optimal visibility.

Remember, the key to preventing weather related car crashes is to prioritize caution, patience, and attentiveness on the road. If you’ve been injured in a car crash, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 407-846-2240 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.

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