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Winter Car Accidents Kill Nearly 4,000 in Five Years

Deadly auto accidents in wintry weather have claimed nearly 4,000 lives over the past five years, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center.
February 14, 2017

Deadly auto accidents in wintry weather have claimed nearly 4,000 lives over the past five years, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center. The organizations’ analysis of transportation data found that from 2011 to 2015 an average of about 800 people died each year in crashes in which snow, freezing rain, sleet or ice were factors.

During the five-year period Ohio had the most winter auto accident fatalities, reporting more than 420 deaths. The state's average is 86 deadly accidents per year. The analysis also found that more than 1,200 people died in wintertime car accidents in 2013, the highest single-year number of the past five years.

Experts say a common factor in such accidents is people driving too fast for winter weather conditions. A Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office official, Fran McLaughlin, cautioned drivers to be mindful of the posted speed limit for optimal driving conditions. Said McLaughlin, “If you have wet, icy or snowy roads, we ask that people drive defensively.”

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