Just ten days ago, Punxsutawney Phil neglected to see his shadow and predicted an early spring. Days later, unseasonably warm temperatures permeated throughout the country, hot on the heels of the late January polar vortex weather pattern that caused near-record lows across the U.S. Can we count on Phil to bring spring soon? Perhaps, but more likely, our bouncing temperatures are indicative of a typically raucous late-winter season.
While weather does generally calm after January, we aren’t in the clear yet – half of winter still remains ahead of us and February and March tend to bring surprises. In fact, five of the top 12 worst blizzards in U.S. history took place late in the season. Here in Boston, February has played host to five of our top 10 biggest snowfalls – and we expect significant snow this afternoon.
Across the country, as temperatures fluctuate unpredictably, drivers must stay vigilant as accident risks remain high. According to the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, approximately 21 percent of crashes (over 1.25 million) a year are weather-related. Nearly a third (29%) take place on icy, snowy or slushy pavement and 18% occur during snow or sleet.
The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if it can be avoided. If not, the following tips will help drivers navigate more safely when conditions worsen so they can get through the rest of winter (and likely early spring) accident free:
The simplest and perhaps the most important thing of all – slow down!
Meet the Author: Domenic Galdo - VP, Network Operations