If you are like many people, the ideal conditions for driving are when it is clear and nice outside. You probably do not like driving in adverse weather. You may even think bad weather increases your chances of getting into an auto accident. However, you may be a little surprised when looking at accident statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The DOT keeps records of accidents and the type of weather at the time they happened. This gives some information and insight into how the weather may impact driving conditions and driving habits.
While you may think snow or ice would be the riskiest weather and increase accident rates, that is not true. Most accidents occur in clear or cloudy weather with no precipitation. The total number of crashes during this type of weather in 2018 was around 117,500.
Now, the next highest weather risk was rain, which probably makes more sense. The total accident rate for this weather was almost 17,000.
Snow and fog
Snow only accounted for a total of about 275 accidents while sleet and hail had a total of around 700 accidents. Even weather events that restrict visibility were still lower than the rate for a clear or cloudy day. Fog produced an accident total of about 1,400, and blowing sand or snow resulted in just under 100 accidents.
Even high winds did not produce a high accident total. At almost 150 crashes, it was nowhere near the total for a clear or cloudy day.
The takeaway from this is not that the weather led to the increase in accidents, but it was more likely the number of vehicles on the roads led to the accident numbers. People are going to drive more in decent weather, so you will share the road with more vehicles. The more people on the roads, the more likely you are to have an accident.