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A comparison of driving in the snow vs driving in the rain

New Yorkers are used to driving in inclement weather conditions. Many believe traveling in the rain is safer than in the snow, but the reality might be surprising. This is a comparison of driving in snowy versus rainy weather.

Driving in snow vs rain

Both rain and snow pose risks of car accidents and personal injury. Both cause wet, slippery roads, so vehicles ill-equipped to handle such conditions are more likely to lose traction and crash.

Accidents are also more likely to occur in rain or snow because drivers might fail to slow down and give more space between vehicles. Visibility is diminished with either weather situation; there might also be fog, which adds to that problem.

Although both conditions are dangerous for driving, it might surprise you to learn that rain is riskier than snow. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 46% of weather-related crashes occur in the rain while only 17% happen in the snow. This is because more drivers underestimate rain and think they don’t have to take as many precautions.

Avoiding weather-related accidents

To avoid a car accident in inclement weather, proper vehicle maintenance is a must. Seeing a mechanic can ensure that all components are in good condition and fluid levels are sufficient. All-weather tires with good tread and proper inflation are best for rain and snow.

Use your headlights when driving in wet conditions and slow down. Make sure you give more than a car’s length of space between your vehicle and the one ahead so that you can more easily stop. If possible, avoid driving in heavy rainfall and snowstorms. If you end up in a large puddle, ease up on the gas instead of pressing on your brake to avoid hydroplaning or skidding. Be alert at all times and use defensive driving.

Good vehicle maintenance and common sense can help you stay safer while driving in rain or snow.