An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Dec. 22, 2016

Safety Gram: The dangers of driving in a winter wonderland

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va., Dec. 22, 2016 — Defense Contract Management Agency’s Safety and Occupational Health Division wants agency team members to take proper precautions this winter as the temperatures fall and the risk to travelers rises.

On average, weather-related vehicle crashes kill more than 6,000 Americans and injure more than 480,000 each year, according to the Department of Transportation. More than 70 percent of the nation’s highways are located in snowy regions, which receive more than five inches average snowfall annually.

In addition to the dangers to travelers, winter weather can prove costly with a direct impact on area communities across the nation. DOT officials report state and local agencies spend more than $2.3 billion on snow and ice control operations annually. Additionally, these road agencies also spend millions of dollars to repair infrastructure damage caused by snow and ice each year.

A few risk reduction tips:
—Reduce your speed, slowing down is the most important thing to do when driving on snow and ice.
—Go easy on your brakes. Brake application is a common trigger of slides that result in a loss of vehicle control.
—Icy road accidents happen in multiples. Your own accident is sometimes not the greatest threat. Check your surroundings and watch out for others.
—If your vehicle is still drivable, keep moving until you arrive at a safe place to pull well off the road. Not only are you at risk from additional out-of-control vehicles, you may actually cause additional accidents by remaining on the road.
—Be careful, as the icy pavement will be tricky to walk on. Climb up an embankment; get behind a firm barrier, anything that will get you out of the way of additional sliding vehicles.

To find more about the possible dangers of weather-related travel, click here (login required). To discover more SOH Safety Grams, click here (login required).