When are the roads the most dangerous because of the weather?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Drivers in North Carolina need to adjust their behavior to reflect the weather and other factors that influence road conditions. Failing to do so could lead to traffic tickets or a police officer declaring someone as the at-fault party for a wreck.

There are certain kinds of weather that people traditionally associate with problems in traffic. Specifically, snowy winter weather has a reputation for causing catastrophic collisions. Obviously, such weather is only a very rare concern on local roads, so people may focus more on fog as a traffic risk. However, despite what people sometimes wrongfully think about road conditions and weather-related crashes, North Carolina actually experiences a lot of the most dangerous type of weather based on collisions statistics.

Wet pavement and rain storms are actually the biggest risks

Every time it rains, an individual’s chance of a serious crash significantly increases. The rain itself causes visibility issues, and the wet pavement it leaves behind is equally dangerous for the safety of those in traffic. Wet pavement increases stopping distance and decreases someone’s control over a vehicle, which is why one’s risk doesn’t end when the rain stops falling.

Over a ten-year period, 46% of weather-related crashes took place during active rainstorms. However, the pavement doesn’t just dry up as soon as the rain stops falling. Wet pavement is the single biggest concern for safety related to weather. 70% of weather-related crashes and 15% of crashes overall take place on wet pavement. Snow and fog only cause a tiny fraction of the total crashes each year.

Knowing the risks leads to smarter decisions

It is very easy to take for granted that mild weather won’t affect traffic safety, but statistics show that gentle summer rain storms and lingering wet pavement are more of a concern than extreme weather in terms of how many people end up in collisions.

Those who reduce how often they drive during rainstorms and on wet pavement can reduce their crash risk, and they can also make better choices about how they drive if they must go out when the roads are wet. Adjusting one’s behavior for improved safety requires first learning about the factors that contribute to someone’s overall risk of a crash, like how significantly certain weather conditions contribute to an individual’s risk level.