Snowy Roadways May Not Be
as Dangerous as Some Think

This may come as a surprise to many, but less than 4% of all car accidents in Missouri took place during snowy weather, according to a report from the Department of Public Safety. Less than 1% of all fatal car accidents took place during snowy weather.

Of all traffic crashes 71.4% occurred during daylight hours and 76.1% occurred on dry pavement.

Statistics on Accidents Due to Snowy Road Conditions in Missouri

The state of Missouri had a total of 94,037 car accidents in one year.

A total of 3,703 accidents occurred during snowy weather.

Only 3 of these snowy-weather accidents were fatal. (.5% of all fatal car accidents).

The majority of fatal car accidents took place while the weather was clear, amounting to approximately 516 deaths. (64.3% of all fatal car accidents).

Accidents Caused by
Snowy Conditions vs. Dry Roads

Missouri had a total of 803 fatal car accidents in one recent year.

16 of these fatal car accidents occurred while roads had ice, frost, slush, or snow. (1.9%)

99 of these fatal car accidents occurred while roads were wet. (12.3%)

680 of these fatal car accidents occurred while roads were dry. (84.7%)

Road Conditions Fatal Crashes All Crashes
dry 680 115,600
ice/frost 9 3729
moving water 0 86
mud/dirt 2 135
other 0 141
sand/gravel 4 282
slush 1 786
snow 6 4340
standing water 1 326
unknown 10 1479
wet 99 25006
Total 812 151910
Weather Conditions Fatal Crashes All Crashes
clear 516 94037
cloudy 230 34481
rain 54 16708
sleet/hail 3 798
freezing temperature 30 5026
fog or mist 13 1537
severe crosswind 0 102
other 0 49
unknown 9 3963
Total 858 160404
*note - more than one Road condition is marked per accident 803 total fatal crashes and 94,037 total crashes. *note - more than one weather condition is marked per accident 803 total fatal crashes and 94,037 total crashes.

Tips for Driving Safely on Snowy Roads

The information provided in the report does not dismiss the fact that driving in snowy, foggy/misty and/or rainy conditions is dangerous. However, it does point to the fact that a lot of accidents happen on clear or cloudy days with dry road conditions. One reason may be that people are a lot more alert and careful when driving on more dangerous road conditions.
Here are some tips for driving in snowy or icy conditions:

Avoid going out unless absolutely necessary in any kind of inclement weather, but especially when roads are snowy or icy.

Drive slowly. Slippery snow and ice reduce tire traction, which causes your car to take longer to slow down while braking. Speed can also cause the car to skid out of control.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Hard braking or acceleration can cause the car to lose traction and skid. The same is true for sharp steering inputs. Drive gently.

Carry an ice-scraper. There’s nothing that reduces visibility more than a snowy or frosted-over windshield. Remove ALL the snow from your vehicle to keep it from blowing off and blinding another driver.

Ensure that your tires have enough tread. Consider using snow tires in the winter.

Don’t overestimate the power of four-wheel drive. While four-wheel drive can help a vehicle keep from getting stuck, it does little or nothing to improve braking and steering.