Risk of deadly car crashes increases in light rain

A study from the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society shows that wet road conditions, including from rain, sleet and snow, increase the risk of deadly crashes by an average of 34%. Even very light rain, which most people would describe as a drizzle, can increase the chances of fatal crashes significantly. Data analysts looked at more than 120,000 accidents from 48 states, including New York, to come up with these statistics.

This study is the first of its kind to use real, precise weather data from the cite of the accident to help determine conditions. The data was used to distinguish accidents where there was heavy precipitation or snow from those where there was only light rain. The high rate of fatalities with just light rain may seem counterintuitive to some; the study speculates that drivers tend to underestimate the danger of just slightly slick roads.

Risks of fatal accidents during bad weather were found to be worst in the Rockies and Upper Midwest and least in the Northeast and Southeast. This may be because the East Coast is more urban, meaning drivers aren't going as fast in general. In the Rockies, slick conditions on steep roads can be especially dangerous. The region is also more rural, which already experiences higher rates of fatalities in all conditions.

Victims of car accidents may be able to get compensation from the responsible driver even if light rain or heavier precipitation was involved. An attorney may evaluate the circumstances of an accident and determine if pursuing legal action would likely benefit the client. The attorney may also not require a fee unless they are able to successfully obtain compensation.

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