Winter Weather Leads to Greater Risk of Traffic Accidents


Winter storm Chloe may have only lasted for a short period of time, but if it’s any indicator of more winter weather to come, drivers could be in for a rough season on the road.

Chloe laid a heavy swath of snow across much of the Great Lakes area, including parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. Detroit’s metro area accumulated approximately six inches of snow during the afternoon commute on December 13 alone.

Under normal circumstances a storm may cause roof or siding damage. While a metal roof may last up to seven times longer than an asphalt roof, that was fortunately not something many homeowners had to worry about during this particular winter storm.

Prior to the storm hitting, AccuWeather meteorologists warned drivers across the Great Lakes of treacherous conditions to come.

“Conditions will be the worst closest to the lake where snowfall totals of over a foot are possible,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards said during his forecast.

The weather service also issued a warning to college students, as many schools are just wrapping up finals. They urged students traveling home to take extreme caution on the roads, even as the winter weather clears.

Edwards reminded viewers that even after the weather clears, they should be wary of drifting and blowing snow. High winds can create these obstacles that may even result in whiteout conditions. Even if you’re one of the one-third of survey respondents who loves neutral color schemes, there’s nothing cozy about driving in whiteout winter conditions.

“Narrow and intense lake-effect snow bands that are expected with this event are notorious for causing chain-reaction accidents,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski warned drivers.

Even in areas where there was lighter snowfall, the weather was responsible for its fair share of traffic difficulties. New Jersey, for instance, only received about three inches of snow, but it certainly had an impact on commuters.

The Garden State Parkway, Goethals Bridge, and Outerbridge Crossing all enforced speed restrictions between 25 and 45 miles per hour due to conditions on the roads. Even with full salting operations taking place, driving conditions were iffy, at best.

Drivers from Pittsburgh, PA to Kokomo, IN all faced similarly treacherous conditions. Some of which even led to traffic accidents. One driver from Lansing, IL, caused more than $25,000 worth of damage during an accident on icy roads just off of U.S. 31.

Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured during the accident.

If anything, the colder weather to come has given drivers an excuse to stay inside. Almost 45% of the average energy bill typically goes towards heating, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. But for those who do need to take to the roads this season, weather officials urge extreme caution at all times.