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Why Georgia sees more weather-related crashes than most people expect

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Most of the year, Georgia enjoys a relatively mild climate. The trade-off for summertime heat and humidity in many areas is very little winter weather. Of course, when snow or ice does fall in Georgia, municipalities do not have the infrastructure in place to address the driving challenges that arise. Drivers in Georgia may simply try to stay off the roads after unusual winter weather.

People may therefore assume that Georgia does not see many weather-related car crashes because of the warmer climate. However, that assumption derives from a misunderstanding of what kinds of weather causes many serious collisions. Georgia drivers may actually have more exposure to weather-related crash risk than those living in other states.

Wet pavement is more dangerous than snow

Contrary to what people often assume, snow and ice building up on the road is not the biggest safety concern for drivers. Weather-related collisions can occur at any time throughout the year. In fact, ice and snow only account for a minority of weather-related collisions. The Road Weather Management Program of the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration reports that only 15% of weather-related crashes occur during snowfall or sleet. Only 24% of crashes related to weather involve snowy, icy or slushy streets.

Wet pavement is more of a safety concern. According to federal statistics, approximately 75% of all weather-related collisions occur when the pavement is wet. Wet pavement can cause hydroplaning and can carry oil and other contaminants back to the surface of a paved street, further compromising a vehicle’s traction.

Rain storms, which are common in Georgia, can create as much of a safety hazard as snowstorms, which are relatively rare. Roughly 47% of weather-related collisions occur during times of active rainfall, but the hazard persists even when the rain stops falling. Until the pavement drives up again, drivers face reduced traction. Wet pavement can make it harder to maneuver and can increase stopping distances.

How Can You Prepare to Drive In Inclement Weather?

Drivers may need to leave a bit earlier, drive a bit more slowly and leave more space during and after rainfall in Georgia. Among the best things you can do has nothing to do with insurance, the law or even driving skills. Properly maintaining your vehicle by ensuring things like your tires are in good repair and have enough tread to grip the road ar eimportant. Understanding the most serious weather-related collision risks may help Georgia drivers make safety-focused decisions.

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