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Don’t get too brave… Study reports most crashes occur during lighter snow events.

With another winter storm on the horizon and the more than 200 crashes and slideoffs reported in Missouri two weeks ago, hopefully Mid-Missouri is more wary to heed the warnings for Sunday’s storm. The arctic cold and winds to follow will create even more headaches, even after the snow tapers off.

A study published by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 2016 examined car accident numbers when certain amounts of snow fell between 2005 & 2016. The numbers, while not too terribly surprising, certainly catch your eye. 80% of crashes in the snow came when LESS than 2″ of snow fell.

There’s some room for reasoning here… The fact that there are certainly more minor snow events in a given winter, than snow storms that bring heavy accumulations plays a role.

But the devil is in the details. WDOT claims that folks don’t tend to take lightly accumulating snows seriously enough, and there’s definitely a tendency within this set of data.

Another factor that will play a role in our snow event tomorrow are the bitterly cold temperatures. Road salt is the most common way road crews deal with snow on roadways, however, when temperatures dip into the low 20s as snow falls, like they will tomorrow, salt takes MUCH longer to melt snow & ice.

Regardless of what we’re dealing with tomorrow will present a plethora of impacts on the roads. MoDOT will be focusing on priority routes like Interstates/Highways leaving most side roads/lots/untreated surfaces snow-covered until the afternoon hours. Winds could also present a problem by blowing snow back on to roads that have already been treated.

The takeaway from this is that it’s best to STAY OFF THE ROADS tomorrow, if you can. Allow time for MoDOT to get roads cleared, and enjoy the snow from inside, or out in the yard building snowmen… and send them to us on our website!


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