Auto Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), in 2000, there were 17,182 fatal crashes in normal weather conditions in the daylight. There were 1,229,000 injury crashes which occurred in normal weather in the daylight.

In rainy conditions, 1,351 fatal crashes occurred in daylight, 495 in dark, but lighted conditions, 823 in the dark, and 121 at dawn or dusk. Similarly, in rainy conditions, 133,000 crashes occurred in daylight, 43,000 in dark, but lighted conditions, and 24,000 in the dark and 11,000 at dawn or dusk.

In snow/sleet conditions, 347 fatal crashes occurred in the daylight, 72 in dark, but lighted conditions, and 228 in the dark and 42 at dawn or dusk. In snow/sleet conditions, 24,000 injury crashes occurred in the daylight, 8000 in dark, but lighted conditions, 10,000 in the dark, and 2,000 at dawn or dusk.

For property damage only crashes, 2,587,000 crashes occurred under normal conditions in the daylight, 496,000 in dark, but lighted conditions, 406,000 in the dark, and 140,000 at dawn or dusk.

All of the categories combined (fatal, injury and property damage only) yield statistics demonstrating that 3,834,000 crashes occurred in normal conditions in daylight, 436,000 crashes occurred in rainy conditions, 95,000 total crashes occurred in snow/sleet conditions all during daylight hours.

763,000 total combined crashes occurred in dark, but lighted normal conditions, 128,000 total crashes occurred in rainy conditions where the lighting was dark, but lighted, 36,000 total crashes occurred in snow/sleet conditions where it was dark, but lighted.

Total crashes occurring in dark conditions can be broken down as follows: normal conditions, 587,000, rainy weather 83,000, snow/sleet 41,000, and other 17,000.

These figures demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of auto accidents which occur in this country each year occur in normal conditions in the daylight. Rainy conditions produced the next highest number of accidents followed by snow/sleet.

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