Slippery Road Conditions and Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes in the Northeastern United States, 1998-2002

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Abstract

Objectives.

We investigated risk factors for fatal motor vehicle crashes on slippery roads in the Northeastern United States, 1998-2002.

Methods.

We analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Results.

Rates of crashes on slippery roads, and ratios of crashes on slippery roads to crashes on dry roads, were greatest among the youngest drivers. Among those aged 16 to 19 years, logistic regression analysis showed significant, independent risks associated with excessive speed for conditions (odds ratio [OR] = 1.38), time of day (OR = 1.80 for 5:00 to 9:00 AM vs 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM), time of year (OR = 6.17 for January vs July), type of road (OR = 1.27 for rural vs urban roads), and age (OR = 1.19 for those aged 16 to 17 years vs those aged 18 to 19 years). Licensure from states with graduated licensing programs was protective against crashes attributed to swerving on slippery roads (adjusted OR = 0.63). Risk factors among drivers older than 19 years were similar but peaked at different times of day and included increased risks for women compared with men.

Conclusions.

Driver training programs need to better address hazards presented by slippery roads.

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