Top 10 Most Dangerous States In America For Winter Driving
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|Top 10 Most Dangerous States In America For Winter Driving. Photo KnowInsiders|
Unsafe winter driving accounts for hundreds of thousands of accidents yearly in the United States.
Crashes due to ice, snow or sleet account for over 1.5 million accidents per year, with winter conditions accounting for up to 17% of weather-related crashes and fatalities.
For more than 70% of Americans, winter driving means snow, ice and dangerous weather conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, almost 40% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur during snowy or icy conditions and cause more than 1,300 deaths.
How do you know if your state is a high risk for hazardous driving conditions? MoneyGeek compiled a list of the top 15 most dangerous states for winter driving. The company analyzed winter driving fatalities, the fatality rate adjusted for vehicle miles traveled and the states with the best and worst drivers to determine which states are the most dangerous for winter driving.
These metrics were converted to a 100 point scale and weighed to calculate a final winter danger score. The final ranking is based on this score.
Top 10 Most Dangerous States In America For Winter Driving
(Ranked By MoneyGeek)
Video Car Acccidents Caused by Winter Weather Caught On Camera:
What Are The Most Dangerous States In The U.S For Winter Driving?
Michigan is the most dangerous state in the nation to drive in during the winter months, beating out Alaska for number of fatalities on the roads every winter, according to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 2017-2019 analyzed near the end of October by MoneyGeek.
Michigan is by far the state with the highest number of winter weather-related driving fatalities. Between 2013 and 2017, there were 282 fatalities in winter weather-related accidents, which is 85 more fatalities than the second-highest state. This may seem unsurprising, considering the state is known for its harsh winters. However, even when you account for the number days the temperature drops to freezing or below, Michigan ranks as the second worst state for winter weather driving accidents—the state averages 37 fatalities per 100 below-freezing days each year.
|Do you have an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle? |
Ahead of snowfall and icy roads, the Michigan State Police say to stock your car with blankets, a flashlight and more in the event you get stranded or stuck.
Alaska recorded 18 winter driving fatalities (rank = 24) in the last 3 years.
Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, Alaska ranks #1 for winter driving fatalities.
MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts Alaska drivers as #36 in the nation for driving safety.
| Top 10 Most Dangerous Roads In The US |
Take a look at the top ten most dangerous roads in America, based on the number of recorded crashes.
Total fatalities: 12.57 per billion miles travelled (8.7% above the national average)
Urban road fatalities: 9.53 per billion miles travelled (12.7% above the national average)
Rural road fatalities: 13.87 per billion miles travelled (22.3% below the national average)
Wyoming was one of three states chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2015 to test advanced short-range communication technology, primarily along the I-80 that runs across more than 400 miles of Wyoming's southern border. The extreme weather conditions that the interstate faces throughout the year have become troublesome for motorists and freight deliveries, and the program is aimed at improving driving safety.
172 winter-driving fatalities
Ohio has been one of the most dangerous states for driving in winter weather in recent years—registering the second most deaths of any state in 2017. In the past five years, there were 172 winter-driving fatalities in Ohio—37 more than there were in Illinois, which had the next most. In terms of roads, I-71—which connects major cities Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati—saw the most winter driving deaths, with seven fatalities occurring along the route during the time period we surveyed.
READ MORE: Winter Begins: Meaning and Acitivities!
197 winter-driving fatalities
With an average of nearly 40 winter-driving deaths per year, Pennsylvania is the second-deadliest state for winter drivers. Pittsburgh had six fatalities resulting from winter weather-related accidents, and Philadelphia—the largest city by population—had four. The deadliest road for winter driving occurred on I-80, which is a major thoroughfare running across the length of the state. It connects New York and Ohio—the states with the next two highest winter driving fatality rates.
|Do you need snow tires? |
The answer lies in where you do your winter driving, according to the American Automobile Association.
"For a significant part of the United States, all-season tires provide adequate year-round performance," said Ellen Edmonds of AAA in a statement. "However, millions of motorists in northern or mountainous parts of the country could benefit from having a dedicated set of winter tires. Some consumers may hesitate to purchase a separate set of winter tires because of the additional cost. However, having a dedicated set of winter tires in climates that call for it will make winter driving significantly safer."
There are four different types of tires: all-season, winter, summer and all-terrain. Most of us have all-season tires unless we have a vehicle capable of going off-road.
All-season tires handle multiple road conditions, balancing some snow capabilities with summer traction. But, to be effective in all situations, the tires compromise on some abilities. Winter tires are designed for extreme conditions and are created specifically to handle the cold and snow and provide traction on that dreaded ice, according to MoneyGeek's report.
Total fatalities: 14.71 per billion miles travelled (27.3% above the national average)
Urban road fatalities: 4.87 per billion miles travelled (42.4% below the national average)
Rural road fatalities: 19.09 per billion miles travelled (6.9% above the national average
The Montana Department of Transportation gives information on driving-related fatalities on the homepage of its website, along with what kind of behaviors led to the incidents such as impaired driving and improper restraint (seatbelts, etc). The crash data also includes how many fatalities were distributed among pedestrians, motorists, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
READ MORE: Useful Tips to Drive on Icy Road in Winter
Total fatalities: 9.38 per billion miles travelled (18.8% below the national average)
Urban road fatalities: 6.66 per billion miles travelled (21.2% below the national average)
Rural road fatalities: 11.96 per billion miles travelled (33.0% below the national average)
Wisconsin's free driving safety alert program, 511WI, provides drivers with personalized route and safety information. The website allows drivers to create alerts for their routes, access weather forecasts, view traffic in real time, and get reports for specific highways.
|Photo Kickin' Country|
South Dakota recorded 12 winter driving fatalities (rank = 34) in the last 3 years.
Adjusted for vehicle miles traveled in the state, South Dakota ranks #9 for winter driving fatalities.
MoneyGeek's ranking of the safest drivers puts South Dakota drivers as #35 in the nation for driving safety.
According to Safewise, the chances of getting into a snow or ice-related crash in the Cornhusker State, where Omaha averages 28 inches of snow per year, are 0.3164 per 100,000. Nebraska recently unveiled a new campaign to educate citizens about the dangers of drugged driving in April 2019 in collaboration with local, county, and state law enforcement organizations. Approximately 19% of all deadly crashes in the state were drug-related in 2017, according to local news outlets.
135 winter-driving fatalities
With an average of 27 winter-driving fatalities per year for the time period 2013 to 2017, Illinois ranked as the fifth deadliest state for winter driving in the U.S. Chicago was the single biggest contributor to the number of fatalities. Furthermore, all of the cities that logged more than one winter-driving accident in Illinois were located in the greater Chicago area. In Cook County alone (which makes up a large part of the Chicago area), there were 30 fatalities during the time period we surveyed, which is more than there were in 18 states—including New Mexico, Arkansas and California.
Driving Tips In The Winter
|Photo Bozeman Daily|
|The top tips for winter driving safety are - take your vehicle in for a routine maintenance check before the snowy season, equip your car with snow tires if necessary, and keep supplies on hand. Keeping ice scrapers, blankets and extra gloves, booster cables, and a tow rope in your car is recommended this winter.|
Regardless of weather, your odds of dying in a car crash are one in 114. Obviously winter weather impacts those chances, but you don’t have to trade in your car for snow shoes. There are some simple things you can do to improve your odds on treacherous roads:
-Check the tires, wipers, fluids, lights, and indicators—make sure they’re in working order and ready for wet, snowy, icy, or slushy roads.
-Always clear ice and snow completely before putting your car into “Drive.”
-Buckle up (it bears repeating!).
-Turn on lights for safety—visibility can be your best friend in a storm.
-Always use the indicators when changing lanes, turning, etc.
-Take it easy—there’s no prize for first place on an icy road.
-Stay about twenty seconds behind other cars in case you have to stop suddenly.
-Don’t slam on the brakes.
The Safest Thing for Driving in Snow
Slow down and be patient! Many winter driving accidents are caused by motorists traveling too fast for the weather conditions. The other drivers on the road may be “re-learning” how to drive in snow, so being aware and considerate is a big step in the right direction. Stay accident-free, and you will thank yourself when your auto insurance company reviews your policy.
Other tips for driving safely in the snow include:
-Avoid sudden braking, accelerating, and turning of the wheel.
-Look ahead as far as visibility allows, to watch for oncoming obstacles.
-Stay well back from snow plows and only pass them if absolutely necessary.
-Never pass snow plows on the right.
The Safest Thing for Driving in Ice, Sleet, and Freezing Rain
Ice is even more treacherous than driving in snow, and can dramatically change how your vehicle interacts with the road. Keep these safety tips in mind:
-Under normal conditions, you should use the “two-second” rule — you should be at least two seconds behind the car in front of you at all times. In snowy and icy conditions, double or even triple this number.
-Don’t use your cruise control while driving on ice or snow.
-Be especially cautious when approaching shaded areas, bridges, and overpasses, where freezing rain and ice occurs most frequently.
-Braking in ice and snow can be challenging. For cars with non-ABS brakes, braking with a pumping motion is recommended. If your vehicle has ABS or disk braking systems, you should not pump the brakes. If you don’t know what kind of brakes your vehicle has, consult a mechanic, your driver’s manual, or the Internet.
-In case of a skid, turn in the direction of the skid. Drivers in vehicles with rear-wheel drive should take their foot off the accelerator, while drivers in vehicles with front-wheel drive should keep steady pressure on the accelerator.
Turn on your headlights, even during daylight hours, to increase your visibility to other drivers.
What is winter car insurance?
Equipping your car with collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Collision coverage pays for car repair bills if you crash into another car or an object, whereas comprehensive coverage pays for non-crash, often weather-related damage, and chips in your windshield that expand to large cracks in freezing temperatures.
If winter weather is to blame for damage to your vehicle, it is not always covered in your auto insurance policy. Falling ice, strong winds, and heavy snow can wreak havoc. Speak with your insurance provider to find out if weather coverage can be added or is already an aspect of your coverage.
If you have other concerns about winter driving and how your car insurance will hold up to the icy roads and turbulent weather, work with committed insurance professionals for a consultation
If you live in an area with snow, ice, you’re considering not driving at all. So, someone want to pause the car insurance during the winter for saving money.
It's not technically possible to “pause” your car insurance. Some insurance companies offer storage coverage. This coverage option allows you to drop all your insurance coverage except comprehensive coverage.
You Need Coverage for Seasonal Vehicles: Without coverage, your car will not be covered in the event of theft or damage. Plus, the amount you save during the ‘off-season’ usually is not worth the discounts insurance providers can offer and activation fees you will need to pay to create a new policy each year.
Best Car Insurance Coverage for Winter: Two important auto insurance coverage options for the winter months are comprehensive and collision. Unlike liability insurance, these coverages protect your car from property damage. If your winter weather conditions are approaching and you'd like to add auto insurance coverage, call your insurance company — but be sure to do it before winter hits.
While this is more common in floods and hurricanes, it can happen with any significant weather event. So, if you're worried about your vehicle's protection from winter weather events.
|The smartest way to save money on insurance for a car you're storing over the winter is to keep the policy active by maintaining its comprehensive coverage and suspending its road coverage.|
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