Snow Delay

For those in northern states, like Michigan and Minnesota, the snow can be a hazard all year long. Even for those in southern states, snow is a serious issue because cities often aren't prepared to deal with it, so even a light dusting that would go virtually unnoticed in the north can cause accidents.

Many people assume that the danger level rises all winter and stays that way, and it is true that the risks on the road go up when snow and ice are a threat. However, experts have noted that the most danger often comes during that very first snowfall.

Senior Drivers

Some studies have suggested that a big risk could be specifically to senior citizens. One report said that the odds of an accident for seniors were 30 percent higher during the first snow of the year than in subsequent snow days all year long.

The Truth About Fatalities

The American Journal of Public Health looked at fatalities in snowy weather and made some excellent observations, noting that the season's initial snowfall brought an increased risk of a deadly accident when compared to snowy days during the rest of the winter. The jump was an entire 14 percent on that first day.

However, the same researchers found that good-weather days were actually 7 percent more likely to bring about fatal wrecks than snowy days. Even so, the amount of non-fatal crashes went up in snowy conditions. In short, accidents were still happening at a higher rate, but people were more likely to live through them. This could indicate that drivers have slowed down, so a driver may crash at 50 MPH in the snow when he or she would have crashed at 75 MPH on a clear day. The reduction in speed could then help people survive accidents more often, even though the snow makes those accidents more likely.

Injuries in the Snow

Drivers are supposed to drive in a way that is safe for current road conditions, meaning they have to adjust when that first snowfall hits the asphalt. If they don't and they cause accidents because of it, those who are injured in these crashes may be able to seek financial compensation.