Here in Ohio, drivers have to contend with changing weather and traffic conditions throughout the year.
Although the snowy winter months might seem more hazardous for cars, there are actually more accidents in early fall. Exploring the reasons behind this phenomenon can shed light on the factors that make our roads less safe.
Peak season for car accidents
The Department of Public Safety in Ohio provides valuable statewide car crash statistics that show how accident rates vary as the seasons change. According to their data, October has consistently had the highest number of car crashes for the past three years. Accident frequency remains relatively elevated in November and into early winter, with a steady decline during the spring. In general, spring and summer have fewer motor vehicle accidents, while the autumn season sees the highest amount.
Factors that impact accident rates
Several changes occur in the fall that might contribute to the increased rate of car collisions. First, the days become shorter during the fall, causing many Ohioans to commute at dusk or in the dark. Furthermore, there may be increased solar glare due to the sun’s position on the horizon in autumn. Fallen leaves and debris can cause obstructions and slippery roads during fall. Increased rainfall, fog and icy conditions can also arise. Finally, fall often brings an increase in the number of inexperienced, young drivers on the road. College students who moved for school and teenagers who obtained licenses over the summer might engage in riskier driving habits which can lead to more accidents.
Despite the common belief that winter is the riskiest time due to icy roads, fall is the least safe season for Ohio drivers due to various seasonal changes.