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Light snow a potentially greater road hazard than blizzards

When winter engulfs New York, the severity of the snowy conditions can often make national headlines. While deep blizzards in the region often grab media attention, weather experts believe that more immediate safety hazards can result from lighter snowfall for a variety of reasons.

One meteorologist states that roads are sometimes untreated for snowfall when the weather first occurs, and drivers are unaware that the conditions have worsened, maintaining their normal behaviors until an accident occurs. A notable situation in which this may have been a factor was a massive pileup involving 50 vehicles in early December 2015 near Grand Rapids, Michigan, following a slight but quick snow accumulation.

Another possible contributor to the risks during period of light snowfall is the perception by motorists of various factors. Dangerous conditions in light snow such as icy pavement may be considerably more subtle than hazards found during heavy storms, and even amenities such as interior heating in modern vehicles may also affect the awareness of outside dangers.

Furthermore, the labeling system the National Weather Service uses may lead some drivers to regard advisories less seriously than the more evidently ominous blizzard warnings. This might have contributed to a large amount of accidents that took place on Jan. 4, 2016, in one part of Massachusetts despite multiple advisories.

Even though hazardous weather can make maintaining control a challenge, drivers should still apply due care to minimize car accidents during the winter months. A person who is hurt in a collision during inclement weather may wish to seek an attorney's counsel. If accident reports and eyewitness testimony support the idea that another driver failed to act safely despite the hazardous conditions, it may be advisable to seek compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit.

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