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Ice and snow can lead to dangerous crashes

Ice and snow are both dangerous when on the roads. Both make for slick road conditions, increasing the risk of crashes stemming from loss of control. Drivers need to know how to address these conditions so that they can react appropriately.

When ice and snow are present, it's expected that operators of motor vehicles will take precaution by reducing their speed. You can expect to slow down by around 30 to 40 percent when there is slushy or snowy pavement. On the freeway, people may slow down by up to 13 percent when there is light snow. In heavy snow, expect speeds to slow down by 40 percent.

It's best not to press your luck and drive faster in these conditions, because stopping distances are much longer and visibility is reduced when there is driving snow.

Around 24 percent of weather-related crashes in the United States happen as a result of winter-weather conditions like snow or ice. Another 15 percent happen during sleeting weather events or snowfall.

With approximately 116,800 people injured in crashes caused by these weather conditions, it's extremely important to know what you can do to prevent crashes. Slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Don't try to move too quickly, and give yourself a lot more space than usual between your car and the vehicle in front of you.

Even though there are steps one can take to help reduce the dangers of ice and snow on the roads, these measures take time to set in. Take your time behind the wheel, and pull over to the side of the road with your hazards on for safety if you must. There is no trip you can take that is worth risking a crash. Snow and ice can accumulate on roadways seemingly out of nowhere, so do your best to remain vigilant when the situation arises.

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