Statistics Show Drop in Car Accident Fatalities in the Snow, Rise in Injuries

If you are a kid waiting to go sledding and have snowball fight, you should probably look away now, but if you are a parent or driver who has to commute to work every day, you will probably welcome this news with open arms.

As of Monday morning, Chicago is in the midst of the longest stretch without a snowfall in its history. The Windy City has gone a record 281 days without measurable snow accumulation, and with no precipitation on the forecast, it is likely that Chicago will keep adding days to this record long stretch. (Chicago Tribune)

However, whether you view Chicago’s snow-drought as good or bad, it won’t last forever, and when it does, it is important to be prepared. Statistics have shown that a quarter of all car accidents occur during adverse weather conditions. These conditions include snow, ice, and rain.

Rain, snow, and ice can be extremely hazardous on highways, especially in a Midwestern city like Chicago. Icy pavement and snow cause 1,300 motor vehicle fatalities each year, and injure over 150,000 more. (U.S. Department of Transportation: Federal Highway Administration)

While analysis from various researchers shows that crash rates increase during snowy weather, the results of these crashes vary from ones occurring during dry road conditions. During snowfalls, fatalities actually drop, however driver and passenger injuries accidents significantly increase.

This suggests that while drivers are adjusting to the adverse conditions, by slowing down or being more defensive, they are not doing so enough. In other words, the actions of the average driver during a snowfall is enough to reduce the chance of a crash severe enough to cause death, but is not enough to reduce accidents from happening. It is important to slow down, and always play it safe when the roads are icy or snowy, reducing speed and being alert is one of the best ways to stay safe.

From the perspective of a Chicago injury lawyer, we know that accidents cost drivers in the United States millions of dollars in property damage and medical bills, and can leave many victims hospitalized or bed ridden. Without the ability to work and earn an income, the cost of these burdensome medical bills and fighting the insurance company can become substantially more daunting. These accidents not only affect the victims involved, but often change the lives of their loved ones, too.

Our lawyers talk with people facing these problems every day, and have been successful in helping our clients hold negligent drivers responsible for the harms caused to them. If you or a loved one has been injured, or is injured this winter by the recklessness of another driver, we can help.

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