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Is it more dangerous to drive in rain than in snow?

Most Illinois motorists know they must be more careful on the roads when precipitation occurs. Winter is generally when more crashes occur, yet what type of precipitation causes more fatal crashes – rain or snow?

Rain causes more fatal accidents

Although all types of wet weather pose more risks for drivers, a winter-related crash study released in 2022 shows that more fatal motor vehicle accidents occur in rainy conditions, not when roads are snowy and icy. The study analyzed data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration from 2005 through 2019 regarding weather-related accidents during December, January and February. It found that fatal winter crashes in the rain were higher in southern states, yet that doesn’t exonerate Illinois drivers, as the state can receive heavy amounts of rain in cold conditions.

Why is rain more dangerous?

The attitude of some drivers may come into play when driving in the rain because they perceive rainy conditions to be less dangerous. The attitude of “it’s just rain” causes some motorists to drive too fast, thereby underestimating the risks of hydroplaning and how long it will take to stop on wet pavement.

To minimize the risks in heavy rain, do the following:

  • Reduce your speed and lengthen your following distance
  • Take your foot off the gas if you begin hydroplaning
  • Don’t drive through deep water
  • Drive in the middle lane, if possible

Negligence is the root cause of weather-related accidents

When serious motor vehicle accidents occur in bad weather, resulting in catastophic injuries, the offending driver generally drove too fast for conditions or engaged in some other risky behavior. Gathering evidence that points to negligence is crucial.

If you have sustained severe injuries in an accident you can file a lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible driver. Financial compensation from a successful lawsuit can include medical bills, lost wages, and other amounts.

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