Dangerous winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. About 46 percent of all crashes involving bad weather take place in the winter. AAA encourages drivers to be vigilant when hitting the road this winter and to always stay prepared by carrying an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle.
“Winter weather is forecast for this weekend, and there are a disproportionate number of crashes this time of year involving bad weather and winter storms,” said Lloyd Albert, AAA Northeast Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Snow and sleet can cause significant safety problems by reducing visibility and making it difficult to safely maneuver or stop, but by being vigilant behind the wheel, motorists can help to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities.”
A AAA Foundation research report analyzed bad weather and crashes over a five-year period. The study found that the highest proportion of crashes involving bad weather happens overnight from 6:00 PM until 5:59 AM, when visibility is limited and roads are most likely to freeze. Previous AAA Foundation research also found that the rates of fatal crashes are higher during the first snowfall of the year than on subsequent days with snow.
AAA recommends the following tips while driving in snowy and icy conditions:
“More than 40 percent of motorists do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle,” said Mr. Albert. “Drivers attempting to brave bad weather should remain cautious and always be prepared by packing an emergency roadside kit.”
AAA recommends always keeping the following items in your “emergency kit” for winter driving:
Before hitting the road, drivers can download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. They can use the app to map a route, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. For members in need of roadside assistance, they can use the app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP. For added convenience, Wazers can now request AAA roadside assistance directly from the Waze app by tapping the Report menu.