According to a new analysis from the website SafeWise, an online resource that provides information on safety for communities, Wyoming ranks as the most dangerous state for driving in snow.
Using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2016 crash data, Safewise calculated the likelihood of crashing during snow per 100,000 people in each state. In Wyoming, that chance was 1.5 out of 100,000 people.
Sage Singleton, a safety expert with Safewise, said the best way to avoid crashes is to simply not drive in the snow.
“Because if you’re not on the roads you’re not going to get in a car crash,” she said.
Singleton acknowledged that sometimes people must drive in rough conditions, so in those cases she advised using common sense.
“Drive slower than normal; it’s better to be late than not arrive at all. Drive at least 20 seconds behind other cars. Don’t slam on your brakes. And if you need to pull over on the side of the road until the snow storm calms down, do it,” said Singleton.
She said listening to your surroundings can also help.
“If you can hear your car and your tires kicking snow up and kind of making that grinding sound, you’re splashing snow out of the way. But if that sound stops it means you’ve likely entered black ice territory, and so that’s going to be a good indicator for you to slow down,” she said.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation is also cautioning drivers to be aware of slow-driving snow plows during hazardous weather.