It may seem like a myth or urban legend, but many accidents occurring during the winter time do not involve another vehicle. In fact, they commonly involve contact with the elements (instead of another driver). Many of our posts this winter have focused on the dangers of black ice, and the growing conversion of the urban legend is ample reason for this.
The Minnesota State Patrol, for example, has indicated that the most common crashes during the winter time are one-vehicle accidents caused by cars sliding off the road. They occur when temperatures are just below freezing, as well as when they are below zero. Since Minnesota has similar weather conditions to us in Colorado, it is helpful to see how weather can affect the possibility of car accidents.
Even more enlightening, car accidents occur when visibility is low, which is something that is not commonly discussed or noted. Indeed, blowing snow has been a problem in the last few days as wind chills have plummeted temperatures to record lows. When this happens, drivers may become nervous and make evasive moves that they may not normally make in ideal conditions. This may lead to cars sliding off the road.
Like other accidents that occur during the course of a year, winter accidents are for the most part, preventable. Staying off the road in inclement weather is arguably the easiest way to avoid being in an accident. If road travel is necessary, slowing down when roads become challenging is a good way to stay safe.
Source: MPR News.org “Winter car wrecks are often preventable,” Liala Helal, January 23, 2014