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Statistics on Accidents Caused by Weather and Road Conditions in Pennsylvania

December 15, 2020

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Pennsylvania sees harsh winter days every year. Snow, sleet, ice, and other weather conditions greatly affect the road and, as the statistics show, lead to many car accidents. It is important for all drivers to understand these road and weather conditions, and how they can contribute to a crash so motorists can do their best to avoid them.

The weather cannot be held liable in a personal injury claim and so, any driver that causes a collision, even when these conditions are present, can be found negligent and be held liable for the crash. Below is a brief look at the statistics on accidents caused by weather and road conditions in Pennsylvania, and an explanation for them.

Statistics on Car Accidents Due to Weather and Road Conditions

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in 2018, road and weather conditions were accountable for a number of car accidents on state roads and highways. The PennDOT stats show:

  • Rain and foggy conditions were present in 20,213 accidents, accounting for 15.7 percent of all collisions
  • Snow, freezing rain, and sleet was present in 9,802 crashes, accounting for 7.6 percent of all total accidents
  • Unspecified weather conditions were present in 1,307 of all wrecks, accounting for only one percent

Poor weather conditions, of course, typically result in unsafe road conditions. According to PennDOT, the most common of these were:

  • Wet roads were present in 28,092 accidents, which totals 21.9 percent of collisions
  • Snowy and slushy roads were present in 7,903 accidents, making up 6.2 percent of all accidents
  • Icy roads were present in 4,468 of all accidents, accounting for 3.5 percent of all crashes

Analyzing the Statistics

Poor road and weather conditions can significantly increase car accidents, but some still argue that looking at the stats does not prove that fact.

One reason for the relatively low numbers may be that people simply do not pay the same kind of attention to the roads when the weather is nice. It is easy to take it for granted that when the sun is out and the temperatures are mild, there is no danger on the roads. Clearly, there is never a good time to assume an accident will not occur, but drivers are more apt to in good weather conditions.

Some drivers also simply abstain from driving when the weather is bad. During a blizzard or a freezing rain storm, people will typically not head out on the roads unless it is absolutely necessary.

Lastly, Pennsylvania simply sees more good weather days than it does bad. Due to the fact that mild days greatly outnumber days when the weather is not good, it stands to reason that more accidents would happen during that time.

Call Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers if You Were Hurt in a Crash

No one should ever have to suffer from serious injuries that result from someone else’s negligence, even when a crash was due to poor weather and road conditions. If you have been hurt, our Allentown auto accident lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim can advise on your case. We will accurately evaluate your claim, determine who to hold liable, and answer any legal question you may have. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.


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