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Is light snow dangerous compared to snowstorms?

Kentucky and Indiana get unusual weather from time to time, and recent conditions during March have certainly lived up to that standard. With a sudden snowstorm blinding drivers and coating roads, there were accidents and injuries to tend to.

When it comes to snow, you may think that the most injuries happen when there's more snow on the ground. However, it's the lighter snow that may actually be more dangerous. Just an inch of snow or a small amount of ice has the potential to cause a number of serious crashes. In fact, a lighter storm is more likely to cause crashes than a major storm, since drivers may not be expecting the roads to be as bad as they are.

With short and light snowfalls, there's also an increased risk because the roads have not yet been treated. Drivers may not know the roads are slick, so they may continue to drive at normal speeds until there is an accident.

Around a quarter of all crashes that took place between 2004 and 2013 were a result of weather conditions in the United States. Seventeen percent of those crashes took place in snow or sleet, while 14 percent took place on slushy or snowy pavement. Another 13 percent happened because of ice.

The sad truth is that minor weather events are often more dangerous than major events, because people don't take them as seriously. It's easy to decide to stay home when the roads have a pile of snow on them, but with only a light dusting, drivers may not be aware of the danger all around them. If a driver causes an accident, even in those conditions, he or she must be held accountable for failing to drive safely for the weather conditions.

Source: The Weather Channel, "Is Light Snow More Dangerous For Drivers Than Major Snowstorms?," accessed March 15, 2018

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