If you're like most drivers, you breathe a sigh of relief every year when the first signs of spring start showing. That means an end to all the snow and ice out there on the roads.
Well, you might want to grip your wheel a little tighter because we're about to deliver some bad news. Believe it or not, in most of the nation, drivers have more to fear from rain than snow.
An analysis of federal data concerning driving fatalities yielded some interesting results, including the fact that bad weather is the fourth-leading cause of traffic fatalities, behind recklessness, speeding and intoxication. However, snow wasn't the worst problem for drivers in most areas. In 39 states, rain was actually the biggest cause of accidents.
Snow was the biggest weather-related problem for 10 states, including Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In North Dakota, rain and snow were equally hazardous.
Experts say that the results make sense. After all, wet weather is far more common than snow in most areas, and it can occur at any time of the year. In addition, drivers tend to automatically give snow a little deference -- while they don't always do the same when it's "just raining."
It's important for drivers to understand that rain can be a serious roadway hazard. Experts say that oil residue on the roads can build up and turn very slick when rain starts coming down -- and that often takes drivers by surprise. Impaired visibility is also a problem.
This data serves as a caution for drivers. It's easy to get complacent out there on the road and discount a few raindrops. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to set a deadly car accident in motion.