In some ways, relatively minor winter weather systems are more dangerous than the really big storms. When the region is shut down by a big blizzard, most folks close the door and stay in. However, when the forecast calls for light snow or patchy freezing drizzle, there is a tendency for many people to hit the highways despite the weather.

The National Highway Traffic Administration claims that about one-fourth of all highway accidents are weather-related. Most of these crashes happen when icy conditions are just beginning, and not when the freeway gates are closed. Of course, the bigger storms have a greater impact overall, as schools and businesses are shut down, but the underlying fact remains that we are far more likely than we probably think to be involved in a serious or fatal car accident when there is just a little snow coming down and we are tempted to drive a little too fast for the conditions.

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