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What's the deadliest weather condition for drivers?

You may think the deadliest weather condition is snow or ice, but the truth may shock you. It's actually rain. Rain affects every state, which makes this weather of particular importance to drivers. An analysis from federally collected data shows that rain is more likely to cause fatalities in traffic accidents than snow in the 39 states that get snow.

Traffic accidents caused by rain, wind, fog and snow result in around 7,000 deaths every year. Of course, this number is much lower than the number of people killed by reckless behavior or drunk driving.

Weather conditions still play a role in creating roadway hazards. Rain is particularly dangerous, because it makes the roads slick. Any oil that has collected on the roads begins to gather and wash away, but that creates a perfect situation for lost traction and collisions.

Rain also impairs your ability to see what's around you. When it's raining heavily, it's a good idea to pull over to the side of the road. This can help you prevent causing crashes or being crashed into by another driver. Always use your hazard lights when the rain gets heavy enough that you have to slow below the standard speed on the roadway, so that other drivers know there's a problem.

The importance of knowing rain is dangerous is two-fold. First, it reminds you that conditions don't have to be icy or snowy to be dangerous. Second, it shows you that constant vigilance is necessary, so everyone on the roads can avoid serious collisions and injuries. If everyone watches the road and drives appropriately for the weather conditions, all drivers and their passengers can stay safer.

Source: USA Today, "Surprise: Rain is the deadliest weather driving hazard," Doyle Rice, accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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