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The autumn season in Nashville is one of the most popular for residents, businesses, and visitors. Why? Between the cooler temperatures and fall foliage, there’s no reason you shouldn’t want to visit for a day, a weekend, a week, or even a whole season. However, autumn also comes with some risks – namely, rainy and sleety fall weather wrecks.

Car accidents caused by rain or sleet can be devastating. Even a little bit of drizzle can make it difficult for drivers to see or to stop in time. When it comes to weather causing motor vehicle accidents, rain is the number one cause before the snow, sleet, fog, or icy pavement, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

Rainy and Sleety Fall Weather Car Accident

Crashes caused by rain

According to data from the most recent 10-year period (2007-2016), rain is the number-one cause of weather-related crashes, with sleet coming in second. The statistics are as follows:

  • 556,151 crashes
    • 10% of vehicle crashes
    • 46% of weather-related crashes
  • 212,647 persons injured
    • 10% of crash injuries
    • 51% of weather-related injuries
  • 2,473 persons killed
    • 8% of crash fatalities
    • 46% of weather-related fatalities

Crashes caused by sleet

Data from the same study shows that sleet is the second-leading weather cause of crashes from 2007 to 2016.

  • 219,942 crashes
    • 4% of vehicle crashes
    • 18% of weather-related crashes
  • 54,839 persons injured
    • 3% of crash injuries
    • 14% of weather-related injuries
  • 688 persons killed
    • 2% of crash fatalities
    • 13% of weather-related fatalities

Overall wet pavement crash statistics

The FHA also provides statistics from 2007 to 2016 for overall wet pavement crashes. These statistics are glaring:

  • 860,286 crashes
    • 15% of vehicle crashes
    • 70% of weather-related crashes
  • 324,394 persons injured
    • 15% of crash injuries
    • 78% of weather-related injuries
  • 4,050 persons killed
    • 12% of crash fatalities
    • 76% of weather-related fatalities

Precipitation increases the risk of fatal accidents

A study conducted by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society discovered a 34% increase in the risk of being involved in a fatal accident when there is precipitation present. The study reviewed 125,012 fatal accidents in connection with the weather from 2006 to 2011.

The researchers found that light precipitation increased the risk of a fatal crash by 27%, while heavy precipitation led to an increase in the risk of a fatal crash of almost double the risk of light precipitation. According to the study, rain increases the risk of a fatal accident the most in the morning and more in rural areas because of high speeds.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a rainy or sleety fall weather wreck, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t feel any pain or think your injuries are minor, it’s smart to have a doctor evaluate you. Call our office at 615-425-2500 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation with the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm today. We operate offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, Knoxville, and Clarksville to better serve you.