Last week’s Storm Stella in the Northeast reminded the nation of how quickly a major winter storm can turn roads and highways into zero-visibility death traps.
State and local officials issued states of emergency and wisely closed many roadways to limit travel. Still, there were plenty of major vehicle collisions, including one that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl in New Hampshire.
But which states overall have the most fatal vehicle crashes during wintry conditions?
In 2015, Ohio (143 fatal car crashes) and Michigan (136 fatal car crashes) far outpaced other states, according to an analysis from the Auto Insurance Center. For the analysis, the center used the most recent final crash data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System (NHTSA FARS).
Ohio and Michigan were followed by Pennsylvania (79), New York (62), Texas (60), Indiana (40), New Jersey (37), Illinois (33), Colorado (30) and New Mexico (29).
In 2015, Ohio also saw the highest number of fatal crashes involving out-of-state drivers in wintry conditions. A total of 38 of Ohio’s 143 wintertime fatal collisions involved people from out of state, according to the Auto Insurance Center analysis. That amounts to 26.5% of those fatal crashes. Pennsylvania saw the same ratio, with 21 involving out-of-state drivers.
In New Mexico, 28 of the 29 fatal accidents involved a driver from another state. Eleven of those drivers were from Texas.
The most common time for wintry-condition fatal car crashes to occur in 2015 was around 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the analysis. Saturday was the most common day for such an accident. In fact, 286 wintry-condition fatal vehicle collisions occurred on a Saturday in 2015. A total of 197 of these types of crashes occurred on a Friday. Thursdays saw the fewest number – 73.
Snow caused 523 fatal crashes, while ice or frost was responsible for 370, according to the analysis. Wet roads accounted for 82 deadly collisions.
Most of the fatal accidents involved drivers losing control or traction (259). Driving off the road (83) was the second most common type of fatal accident.
To access the full analysis from Auto Insurance Center, click here.