Winter driving facts across the USA

Winter driving facts across the United States

Winter can be an enjoyable time of the year; however, with 70% of U.S. roads located in snowy regions – averaging more than five inches of snowfall annually – it can also be a treacherous time of the year for drivers if simple precautions are not taken.

Elephant Auto Insurance recently polled drivers and discovered some surprising statistics around winter driving preparation.

Text version:




Winter driving facts

Elephant takes a closer look at winter driving across the United States.

Do you prepare your car differently for winter driving?

59.4% NO
40.6% YES

Do you think it’s important to prepare your car differently for winter driving?

31.2% NO
68.8% YES

Who prepares for winter driving?

Northeast: 48.8%
Midwest: 45.5%
West: 37.0%
South: 34.5%

18-24: 46.2%
25-34: 49.6%
55-64: 35.6%
65+: 30.0%

Why it’s important to prepare for winter driving

  • 15% — Sleet and snow account for 225,000 crashes a year, that’s 15% of weather related crashes annually.
  • 70% — 70% of U.S. roads located in snowy regions, averaging more than five inches of snowfall annually.
  • 14% — Fatal accidents were 14% more likely on the first snowy day of the season.
  • 70,000 — Over 70,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall annually in the U.S.
  • 1st — The first day after a snowstorm carries more risk to drivers for serious accidents than other snow days.
  • 40% — Speeds on U.S. freeways are reduced by up to 13% in light snow, and up to 40% in heavy snow.

Elephant’s top 6 ways to winterize your vehicle

  • Snow Tires — In extreme winter conditions, snow tires can provide extra traction on the road.
  • Oil Change — It is important to make sure your car has the right oil before temperatures drop.
  • Battery — Check you battery to ensure you have enough power to run your car all winter long.
  • Emergency Kit — In case you get stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
  • Fuel — Keeping your gas tank full will help to prevent gas line freeze up.
  • Tire Pressure — Colder weather can affect your tire pressure. It is important to check your tires.


Elephant survey methodology: Conducted by Google Consumer Surveys, 01/06/15 – 01/11/15 and based on 1160 online responses. Sample: National adult internet population.
Federal Highway Administration (FHA)
University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health
Bridgestone Americas.